OITA – Two fishing boats carrying six people each collided Friday night in waters off Kamiura, Oita Prefecture, killing two passengers and injuring seven others, Japan Coast Guard officials said Saturday.
Takashi Yamada, 24, and Shin Kawaguchi, 29, both anglers from Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, were killed. They were aboard the 6-ton Ebisu Maru when it collided with the Aki Maru No. 2 at around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
The Ebisu Maru’s 56-year-old captain, Yoshikiyo Kawai, and six other passengers were injured.
The captains of the two ships admitted they were poaching at the time of the collision.
According to investigations, after the collision, the Aki Maru No. 2 dropped off the surviving 10 passengers and returned to the collision site to tow the Ebisu Maru, which was close to sinking.
Officials found the Aki Maru towing the Ebisu Maru toward Ehime Prefecture.
Neither boat had notified the Coast Guard of the incident.