Fishing boat sinks in storm off Miyagi; crew of 18 rescued

by Reiji Yoshida

Staff Writer

All 18 crew members aboard a 32-meter fishing boat that started sinking Wednesday in stormy weather about 850 km east of Miyagi Prefecture were rescued by nearby vessels, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

The 122-ton Koryo Maru No. 68 from Kochi Prefecture, which had 12 Japanese and six Indonesian crew members, was fishing for katsuo (bonito) when it began taking on water, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received an emergency call from the owner of one of the accompanying fishing vessels at 2:53 a.m., and dispatched two patrol ships and three aircraft.

At around 7:20 a.m., eight of the crew members were rescued by another fishing boat. And at around 8:45 a.m., the remaining 10 members were pulled from a life raft, the Coast Guard said. The patrol ships and aircraft had yet to reach the area.

At the time of the sinking, winds were exceeding 55 kph while waves were registering some 4 meters in height.

The reason the vessel started taking on water was not immediately known, a Coast Guard officer in Sendai told The Japan Times by phone later in the day.