HIROSHIMA – A Maritime Self-Defense Force minesweeper and a cargo ship collided around midnight Wednesday in the Seto Inland Sea off the coast of Hiroshima Prefecture, but no injuries were reported, according to the Japan Coast Guard.
The 510-ton minesweeper Notojima carrying 41 people and the 699-ton cargo vessel with five crew members collided approximately 1.5 kilometers northeast of Koneshima island. No oil leaks resulted from the collision, a local coast guard office said.
The rear right end of Notojima and the front left side of the cargo ship came into contact. The minesweeper lost navigational control, the office said, and the MSDF decided to tow it to a shipyard on Innoshima island, Hiroshima Prefecture.
Notojima belongs to the 44th Mine Warfare Force based in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture. The minesweeper was heading toward an MSDF base in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, while the cargo ship was sailing to Fukuyama, also in Hiroshima, from Kitakyushu.
It was cloudy at the time of the collision, but there was clear visibility, and the waters were calm, the coast guard said.