Japan’s coastguard recovered what appeared to be five bodies after a Japanese cargo ship capsized following a collision with a Sierra Leone-registered vessel Friday, television footage showed.
Six crew were reported missing after the incident, which happened early in the day in waters off Japan’s Izuoshima island, around 100 kilometers south of Tokyo.
Coastguard vessels and a plane had been scouring the area and footage showed frogmen banging on the hull of the upturned boat, in an apparent bid to find out if anyone was alive under the 498-tonne Eifukumaru No.18.
Late afternoon television pictures showed what appeared to be five bodies being laid out on the deck of a rescue vessel.
A coastguard spokesman earlier said the Japanese ship’s six crew members were all Japanese men. They had been ferrying steel from Nagoya to Chiba near Tokyo, another coastguard official said.
The 2,962-tonne Sierra Leone-registered ship Jia Hui was not in danger.
The coastguard found a life boat about 100 metres (330 feet) from the capsized ship before discovering the five crewmen.
Coastguard officials were interviewing crew members of the Sierra Leone-registered ship to determine the cause of the accident. AFP