CHIBA – Another body was discovered Thursday as divers continued to search for missing crew members following a collision between cargo ships Sunday in the Pacific Ocean off eastern Japan, raising the death toll from the crash to three.
A diver who was swimming near the sunken 499-ton Sensho Maru spotted a figure through a window, according to the Japan Coast Guard, and the body was later retrieved from the ship.
It was later identified as that of 69-year-old Hiroshi Seno. Another crewman who was aboard the sunken vessel remains missing.
The Sensho Maru sank to the seafloor at a depth of about 30 meters after colliding with another 499-ton cargo ship, the Sumiho Maru, around 12 kilometers off Inubosaki, Chiba Prefecture, early Sunday.
The four crew members on the Sumiho Maru, based in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, escaped safely. But two of the four crewmen — aside from the captain, who was rescued — of the Sensho Maru, based in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, were found inside the sunken ship and confirmed dead in the following days.
Hopes had emerged that there might be survivors inside the Sensho Maru after a faint knocking sound was heard when a diver struck the vessel’s hull with a hammer while searching the crew quarters on Monday.
But the coast guard stopped searching inside the ship on Wednesday. It has also sent divers to search the ocean floor and nearby areas.