NIIGATA (Kyodo) Strong waves overturned two pleasure boats off Niigata Prefecture on Saturday, killing six anglers in separate incidents, police said.

Koichi Saito, 53, was confirmed dead at a hospital after being picked up by a Niigata Prefectural Police helicopter responding to a 7:40 a.m. call about a capsized boat floating 30 meters off a marina in Tainai.

Fellow fishermen Shuji Koike, 57, and Kazuhiko Yoshimura, 56, were found in the same sea area and later pronounced dead.

A witness who was fishing nearby said the three started fishing at around 5 a.m. but got capsized by increasingly heavy waves as they attempted to get back to the marina.

Another witness said one of the men was clinging to the boat after the accident but that the others drifted away.

In the other accident, a Niigata Coast Guard Office patrol ship found a capsized boat about 4 km from the mouth of the Agano River at around 3:20 p.m. and picked up two people drifting nearby.

The two were unconscious when found and were later confirmed dead, the coast guard said.

The body of a third person from the boat was found later.

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