Missing Japanese boat: Search for survivors after distress signal
Published1 day ago
Rescue workers take an unconscious person from a Japan Coast Guard helicopter to an ambulance at Utoro in Shari, Hokkaido island, Japan, 24 April 2022, after a tour boat with 26 people was missing 23 April 2022.
Rescuers carry one of those found from a helicopter to an ambulance on Hokkaido island
Search teams in Japan say seven people have been found after a tourist boat with 26 people on board disappeared off the northern island of Hokkaido.
Authorities lost contact with the vessel after it sent a distress signal saying it was taking on water at 13:15 local time (04:15 GMT) on Saturday.
The coastguard could not confirm whether those found were still alive.
The boat, Kazu 1, is believed to have been on a three-hour trip around the Shiretoko Peninsula.
The area is a designated UNESCO world heritage site, and boat trips are popular with tourists hoping to spot whales and sea lions as well as brown bears on the rocky beaches.
The rescue effort - which includes helicopters, patrol boats and divers - is ongoing. Of the 26 on board, two were crew and two were children.
A fishing boat leaves from Utoro port for searching for the missing tour boat "Kazu 1" in Shari, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo on April 24, 2022.
Fishing boats from Utoro port have joined the search
Kazu 1 was last heard from at around 15:00 local time on Saturday when the crew said it was tipping at a 30-degree angle and starting to sink, according to Japanese media.
Waves in the area had been high and local fishing boats had apparently decided to return to port by mid-morning.
The crew reportedly said that all those on board were wearing life jackets.
But temperatures in the area can dip as low as 0C (32F) when night falls.