Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Three Rescued After Fishing Boat Sinks

The Japan Coast Guard rescued three people, including a television cameraman, as they were drifting on a raft Monday off Miyazaki Prefecture after their tuna fishing boat went missing Friday, it said. Yukihiro Koresawa, the 48-year-old captain of the 9.1-ton Yukiyoshi Maru, told the Coast Guard his vessel had been hit "by a large white ship about 74 km southeast of Tanegashima Island at around 10 a.m. on Friday, and capsized." A patrol boat dispatched by the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in neighboring Kagoshima Prefecture rescued the three after a search helicopter spotted them waving on the raft about 185 km east-southeast of Cape Toi in Miyazaki earlier Monday, the Coast Guard said. The two others are 56-year-old Michio Yamanaka, a deckhand, and 29-year-old Yohei Hayashi, a television cameraman, who was on the long-line fishing boat to film a TV program.
Captain Yukihiro Koresawa and cameraman Yohei Hayashi peer out from their raft before being rescued
Taken to the University of Miyazaki Hospital by helicopter, they have reported pain in their feet as they were on the raft for a long time, according to a hospital official. Hayashi will be hospitalized for about a week, and the other two for a few days. They said they had staved off hunger pains by eating biscuits that the raft was equipped with, according to the Coast Guard. The vessel had set off for waters near Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima from Hyuga, Miyazaki, on Thursday and was last seen Friday. On Sunday morning, a fishing boat found the Yukiyoshi Maru with only its stern appearing above the surface of the water about 130 km off Cape Toi, but there was no sign of the three men. The large vessel suspected of having hit the Yukiyoshi Maru continued on a direction to the northeast without stopping, Koresawa was quoted as telling the Coast Guard.

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