Nine people found after going missing during Japanese Sightseeing Tour

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via pixabay

The tour boat was similar to the one seen in this picture.

On Saturday, April 22nd, the Japanese Coast Guard reported that nine out of the 26 people reported missing during a boat tour in Hokkaido were found near the tip of Cape Shiretoko. Out of those nine tourists, four of them were found unconscious, while the other five were of unknown condition.

Authorities lost contact with the Kazu 1 tour boat’s crew on Saturday, April 23. The crew’s last report to the authorities was that water was flooding into the stern of the boat, causing it to sink. While the boat was sinking, its front was tipping over, leaving the boat’s backside in the air. The water temperature at the time of the sinking was believed to be around 35 to 37 degrees celsius. During this trip, a total of 24 passengers were in attendance, two of which were children and another two crew members. All passengers were wearing life jackets at the time of the sinking.

The Coast Guard finally regained contact with the ship after it issued an emergency distress call at around 1:15 pm that day. Five patrol boats and two aircraft were dispatched to search for the boat. Fortunately, the crew and passengers of the Kazu 1 were able to survive the 9.8 feet high waves that night.

The Kazu 1 left the port of Utoro at around 10 am on Saturday and was expected to return at 1 pm. After a while, the boat showed no intention of returning at its designated time. The tour company’s homepage states that the boat usually holds 65 people, with tours going around the Shiretoko Peninsula, a Unesco world heritage site. The tour normally lasts up to 3 hours at most.

The Kazu 1 crew’s boat was said to be in the area of the Shiretoko Peninsula, which is the northern part of Japan’s northernmost main island; the boat was also believed to have sunk near the Kashinu Falls as well.

Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, was attending a two-day summit in the south of the country and is said to be returning to Tokyo, hopefully, to discuss the incident of the missing Kazu 1 and its members.