A tourist boat has disappeared in Japan with 26 people on board
(CNN) – Japan’s Coast Guard sent patrol boats and planes to search for a missing tourist boat with 26 people on board on Saturday after it was reported to have sank off the northern island of Hokkaido, public broadcaster NHK reported.
NHK said authorities lost contact with the Kazu 1 crew after the crew reported that water was flooding the stern of the vessel and began to sink. NHK said the crew also said people on board were wearing life jackets and that the ship was pitching at a 30-degree angle.
The radio said that it had 24 passengers on board, including two children and two crew.
No one was immediately available for comment at the JCG outside normal business hours.
NHK said the Coast Guard received a call from the ship around 1:15 p.m. (12:15 a.m. ET) and dispatched five patrol boats and two aircraft to search.
No one answered calls from the office of the company that organizes Kazu 1 tours. According to its homepage, the boat has a capacity of 65 people. Tours in the Shiretoko area usually last about three hours, according to the tour company.
NHK said the ship left the port of Otoro around 10 a.m. on Saturday and is expected to return to port at 1 p.m. The waves were high and the fishing boats in the area were back in port by mid-morning.
NHK said the tour boat was in the area of the Shiretoko Peninsula, in the northern part of Japan’s northernmost island, and is believed to have been near the Kashino Falls.