ABASHIRI, Hokkaido – On May 29, the Japanese Coast Guard launched an intensive three-day search involving dozens of ships and planes for 12 people still missing since their tour boat sank off the coast of Hokkaido. is from Hokkaido five weeks ago.
Development followed the salvage of the wreckage on 27 May.
The search, which also involves the Self-Defense Forces and the Hokkaido Prefectural Police, will focus on a large area off the Shiretoko Peninsula, where the Kazu I sank, and near Kunashiri Island, which is part of the disputed northern territories also claimed by Russia. .
A total of 70 ships and 20 aircraft will participate in the effort through May 31.
The raised boat was taken to Abashiri Port on May 27. Coast Guard investigators inspected the ship May 28 and confirmed no bodies were trapped inside after a thorough search of the engine room and storage compartment.
The Kazu I was protected by plastic sheets while investigators searched every corner of the boat.
Seiichi Katsurada, the president of Shiretoko Pleasure Boat, which operated the ship, was present during the investigation.
Investigators also checked for damage to the vessel and the condition of the equipment.
The Coast Guard took possession of the boat by taking the rare step of obtaining a warrant, a decision that reflects the importance it attaches to the case and the belief that it will take time to uncover all the details that have sank with 26 people on board. .
The Coast Guard continued its investigation on May 29 looking for clues to the April 23 tragedy.
Fourteen bodies have been recovered so far, but none have been found after April 28.
The Kazu I is expected to disembark on the morning of June 1 to allow family members of the deceased to offer flowers and prayers later in the day.