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A Briton who was trying to row solo across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the United States called for help Saturday after the rudder on his boat broke and he lost control of the vessel, the Japan Coast Guard said.

Using his satellite phone, 38-year-old Mick Dawson, a native of Boston, in eastern England, asked to be rescued around 5 a.m. from a spot about 500 km off Miyagi Prefecture, the coast guard said.

He said he was unhurt. A coast guard patrol boat is expected to arrive at his location as soon as early Sunday morning, the coast guard said.

Dawson, a former Royal Marine, left for San Francisco from Choshi port in Chiba Prefecture on June 2 aboard his 7-meter-long row boat Mrs D.

He rowed across the Atlantic Ocean with his brother in 2001 aboard the same vessel, according to his Web site.

Belize freighter sinks

KITAKYUSHU (Kyodo) A Belize-registered freighter sank early Saturday off Fukuoka Prefecture after colliding with a South Korean freighter, but all of its crew were rescued by the South Korean ship, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The 1,264-ton Belize ship Far East 1, with nine crew members, collided with the 1,160-ton South Korean vessel Chang Yong, which has a crew of 11, around 12:30 a.m. in the Sea of Japan, coast guard officials said.

The accident took place 20 km off tiny Okinoshima Island, which is located between Kyushu and the Tsushima islands, they said.

A 9.5-km slick of fuel oil leaked from the Belize ship, they said. Both vessels were transporting steel.

The Belize vessel was on its way to Inchon in South Korea from Niigata.

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