Japan finds wreck of missing tourist boat which left 14 dead

A fishing boat leaves a port to help with the rescue operation in Shari, Japan, on April 29, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan located on Friday (April 29) the hull of a tour boat off its northern coast, the coast guard said, six days after the vessel disappeared in an incident that killed at least 14 people on a sightseeing trip.

The hull of the "Kazu I" was found on the seabed at a depth of about 120m off the northern island of Hokkaido in pitch-dark waters shown in footage from an underwater camera of Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force, the coast guard said.

The boat went missing last Saturday several hours after departing for a tour of the peninsula, famed for its rugged coastal scenery and wildlife.

The 26 on board included two children and two crew.

Fourteen were found dead, the coast guard official said, with the rest unaccounted for.

The coast guard said a Russian guard ship lost sight of someone wearing a life jacket who was adrift at sea in waters west of an island Japan refers to as Kunashiri on Wednesday afternoon.

Kunashiri, known in Russian as Kunashir, is one of four islands north of Hokkaido that are at the centre of a territorial row between Tokyo and Moscow, after the Soviet Union seized them at the end of World War II.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.