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8 crew members missing after fishing boat capsizes off Hokkaido

All eight crew members of a Japanese fishing boat went missing Tuesday after the vessel capsized about 600 kilometers off the country's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the Japan Coast Guard said.
A search aircraft found an overturned vessel, believed to be the 29-ton saury fishing boat belonging to a fisheries cooperative in the town of Taiki, approximately 610 km east of the city of Nemuro around 2:30 p.m., according to the coast guard. The crew members are men in their 40s to 70s.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force decided to dispatch a plane to search for them throughout Tuesday night at the request of the coast guard. Coast guard boats will also join the rescue effort.
The coast guard received a report around 11:30 a.m. that operators lost contact with the vessel.
The boat recently operated in sea areas further out than usual this year due to a record bad catch of saury, according to the cooperative.
It said the boat left a port in Nemuro on Thursday and was to return possibly on Wednesday.


© KYODO
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