Missing tourist boat located underwater off Japan s Hokkaido

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Tokyo, April 30

The Japan Coast Guard has said the tourist boat that went missing six days ago with 26 people aboard was found underwater off Hokkaido in northern Japan.

The 19-ton Kazu I was located on Friday after the Maritime Self-Defence Force conducted a search with an underwater camera off the Shiretoko Peninsula in northeastern Hokkaido, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far, the bodies of 14 people have been retrieved since the boat went missing on April 23. Twelve people remain unaccounted for.

The tourist boat was discovered at a depth of around 100 metres near the Kashuni Falls, a popular scenic site near the tip of the peninsula, where the boat reported it took water in and issued a distress call.

The Japan Coast Guard sent out patrol boats to the area where the boat reported emergency and later conducted search and rescue.

The Kazu I was sailing to the Shiretoko Peninsula, which was designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 2005, despite bad weather forecasts and warnings.


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