TOKYO: One person died and six went missing after a boat capsized and was spotted in waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands on Monday, The Japan Times reported citing Japan’s coast guard.
It was unclear where the boat had initially capsized, but on Sunday a Marine Self-Defense Force patrol spotted it drifting in waters north of the islands, coast guard’s spokesman Keisuke Nakao said. The Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands are also claimed by Beijing.
The crew are one Taiwanese and six Indonesians, he added. Japan’s coast guard’s other spokesman Masaya Tokita stated that a body was found around 9:15 am inside the cabin by divers, and an ID on the body suggests it was an Indonesian man, according to The Japan Times.
The coast guard has been searching the area with patrol ships and helicopters since receiving the information about the capsized boat on Sunday afternoon from the MSDF.
Coast guard officials said Japanese authorities were coordinating with their counterparts in Taiwan, which also lays claim to the Senkaku islets.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that the vessel was a Taiwan-registered fishing boat, and was suspected to have capsized near one of the Senkaku Islands.
“The National Rescue Command Center has contacted Taiwanese fishing boats near the site of the accident to assist in the search. Taiwan and Japan’s coastguards have also dispatched ships for search and rescue,” the statement said.
The boat’s registered name is “Shin Charng Fa No 88,” according to The Japan Times citing Taiwan’s fisheries agency.
The vessel left northern Taiwan’s Keelung port last Monday, and contacted a Taiwanese fishing boat nearby for help on Sunday, the agency added. (ANI)