• Kyodo


A fishing boat sank Thursday night in the Pacific Ocean off Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, killing one crew member and leaving two missing, Japan Coast Guard officials said Friday.

The coast guard received a report from the company that operates the 19-ton Nissho Maru No. 15 that it had sunk around 10:50 p.m. about 25 km east of Tanegashima.

According to the coast guard, eight crew members were aboard the ship. Takashi Sumori, 22, a deck hand, drowned while Hirofumi Harada, 48, the chief engineer, was reported missing.

Hironori Sakamoto, 29, the captain of another fishing boat, dived into the water in an attempt to rescue the crew and is also missing, the coast guard added.

The boat capsized while fishing for mackerel with several other fishing boats. According to investigators, the ship began to tip to starboard when it started rolling up its nets and flipped over.

Six crew members, including captain Katsufumi Yanagigawa, 50, were rescued by crew members of other boats and all the rescued but Yanagigawa were transferred to a hospital in Kagoshima by helicopter, the coast guard said.

The coast guard said it has dispatched three patrol boats and four aircraft to the site of the accident to search for the missing men.

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