4 missing after ships collide off Japan's Chiba Prefecture
According to the coast guard, the 499-ton Sumiho Maru and another 499-ton ship, the Sensho Maru, collided about 12 km off Inubosaki in Chiba Prefecture around 2:10 a.m. local time.
The Sensho Maru, based in Imabari of Ehime Prefecture, sank and four of its five crew members are missing. The 60-year-old male captain of Sensho Maru was rescued by the patrol boat of the coast guard.
The Sensho Maru put out a call for assistance. All four crew on board the Sumiho Maru, based in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, are safe, it said.
The Sensho Maru was carrying about 1,300 tons of steel from Kashima in eastern Japan to Osaka, according to the coast guard.
At the time it happened, the area was foggy and visibility was low. The coast guard is investigating the cause of the accident, with patrol vessels and helicopters continuing to search for the missing persons. ■