Sun, 20 Jun 2021

Tokyo [Japan], May 26 (ANI): Three crew members were killed as a Japanese fishing boat capsized after colliding with a Russian ship off Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido on Wednesday.

The Japan Times reported that a Japanese fishing boat and a Russian vessel had collided today off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture, leaving three crew members dead, as per local authorities.

Japan's Coast Guard says the 9.7-ton Japanese boat, Daihachi Hokkoumaru, collided with the 662-ton Russian vessel, AMUR, in the Sea of Okhotsk about 23 kilometers northeast of Monbetsu Port at around 6 am, local time.

The incident was reported by the AMUR. Five of the Japanese boat's crew members were rescued by the crew of the AMUR. Three of them are reportedly unconscious, according to the broadcasting company, NHK World reported.

As per Xinhua three of the five crew members were dead.

The five-crew-member fishing boat, which belongs to a fishery cooperative based in Hokkaido's Monbetsu, was catching hairy crabs when the collision occurred, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

Among the three victims, one was the chief engineer in his 60s and the two others were in their 30s. Of the remaining two crew members, one suffered minor injuries and the other was not injured, according to local fire fighters.

The Coast Guard has dispatched a patrol ship to the scene.

Meanwhile, Russian Consul General in Sapporo Sergey Marin told Sputnik that the collision of the Russian merchant ship Amur and the Japanese fishing vessel Daihachi Hokkoumaru could have been caused by a heavy fog.

"The collision took place approximately at the contact line in heavy fog. They might not have noticed a small fishing vessel. But it shouldn't have been there, because it was too far from the shore. The captain acted correctly, in accordance with all instructions: the ship was immediately stopped, a rescue operation was conducted, everyone was taken out of water," Sputnik said quoting Marin.

The Russian Embassy expressed its condolences to Tokyo in connection with the death of three Japanese fishermen after the collision of a Japanese fishing schooner and the Russian merchant ship Amur. (ANI)

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