Nine people from a Japanese tour boat missing off the country’s northern coast had been found by noon Sunday, the Japan Coast Guard said, though it was unclear if they were alive.
The nine, from the boat that disappeared on Saturday with 26 people on board during a cruise off the northern main island of Hokkaido, were found unconscious and it was not immediately clear if they had vital signs, a Coast Guard official told Reuters.
They were taken to hospital, the public television station NHK reported.
Drivis can be seen in the waters of the area as late as March, and water temperatures would now be 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (36-37 Fahrenheit), said an official at a local fisheries cooperative.
Authorities used planes and patrol boats, including seven ships, three planes and four Coast Guard helicopters, to search for the passengers and crew of “Kazu I” after it ran into trouble off the Shiretoko Peninsula, famous for its wildlife. and dramatic coastline.
Rescue workers stop material to shield a stretcher from media as they make a transfer from a helicopter to a waiting ambulance at a school site in Shari, Okhotsk Sub-Prefecture in Hokkaido on April 24, 2022. Japanese rescuers said they found four people from a sightseeing boat that disappeared a day earlier.
Stringer | Jiji Press | AFP via Getty Images
The Coast Guard heard from the crew Saturday afternoon that water was about to flood the vessel. It was last heard from about two hours later when it contacted its operating company to say it was holding at a 30-degree angle, Kyodo news reported.
The Coast Guard said it was not clear what had happened to the boat. No one was available for comment in the company.
The crew said they were wearing life jackets on board, media reported. There were 24 passengers, two of them children, and two crew members on board.