Seven people found from missing Japan ship, coast guard says

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) – Seven people from the Japanese tour boat that went missing with 26 people on board have been found, after three more were found on Sunday, Japan’s coast guard said, although it was unclear if they were still alive.

A coast guard official told Reuters the condition of the three people was unclear but public broadcaster NHK reported they were unconscious.

The other four, who were found earlier on Sunday morning, were unconscious and already brought to hospital, the coast guard official said.

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Of the four people, three were discovered by a police helicopter near the tip of the Shiretoko peninsula, the coast guard said, with the fourth spotted by a coast guard aircraft in the same area about 30 minutes later.

Authorities were using aircraft and patrol boats, including seven ships, three airplanes and four helicopters from the coast guard, to search for the passengers and crew of the “Kazu I” after it ran into trouble off the peninsula, which is famous for its wildlife and dramatic coastline. read more

The coast guard first heard from the crew of the boat on Saturday afternoon that water was flooding into the vessel. It was last heard from around two hours later, when it contacted its operating company to say it was keeling at a 30-degree angle, Kyodo news reported earlier.

The crew said those on board were wearing life jackets, media said.

There were 24 passengers and two crew members on board. Two of the passengers were children.

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Reporting by David Dolan, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jacqueline Wong

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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