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26 people missing in Japanese tour boat disaster

26 people missing in Japanese tour boat disaster

Japanese tour boat Kazu 1 with 24 passengers, including two children, and two crew on board went missing in high seas off northern Japan after making an emergency call in early afternoon, reporting that the ship’s bow had flooded, and it was beginning to sink and tilt.

The crew reportedly said that all those on board were wearing life jackets.

According to Japanese coast guard, the vessel got in trouble while it was traveling in rough and cold waters off the western coast of Shiretoko Peninsula in the northern island of Hokkaido on Saturday.

The boat is believed to have been on a three-hour sightseeing voyage around the Shiretoko Peninsula.

The 19-ton tour boat has since lost contact, according to the coast guard.

No survivors have been found after more than seven hours of an intense search involving six patrol boats and four aircraft.

Current sea temperatures in Shiretoko National Park are just slightly above freezing.

Kazu 1 operator, Shiretoko Pleasure Cruise, stated that it could not comment on the accident immediately as it had to respond to calls from worried families of the missing passengers.

According to NHK public broadcaster, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was attending a two-day water summit in Kumamoto, has canceled his Sunday program and was set to return to Tokyo to deal with the missing boat.

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