crime

Captain arrested over ship-sinking accident off western Japan

21 Comments

A local office of the Japan Coast Guard said Friday it has arrested the captain of a small vessel for negligence resulting in his ship hitting a reef and sinking in the sea off western Japan the previous day.

Yosuke Tada, 45, has admitted to the charge. The accident, which took place in the Seto Inland Sea off Kagawa Prefecture, threatened the lives of 52 schoolchildren and others aboard who had to be rescued by coast guard and fishery vessels as the ship went under.

Tada's ship, the 19-ton Shrimp of Art, struck the reef at around 4:40 p.m. Thursday. The Takamatsu Coast Guard Office on Friday confirmed a rupture in the bottom of the vessel through which sea water is believed to have flowed inside, causing the vessel to sink.

When Tada reported the accident to the coast guard office, he said he thought the ship had hit a floating object, while also stating it might have bumped a rock.

A total of 62 people were on board at the time, including the group of 52 sixth-graders on a two-day excursion from their school in the same prefecture. While two of the students were taken to a hospital for hypothermia and hyperventilation after the accident, all of them returned home later in the day.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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It was a rock, a well known set of rocks partly covered by the tide. Luckily everyone is safe.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Luckily it was older elementary school students.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

At least the kids will have a “trip” to remember! And stories to tell their grandchildren in the future.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

If he hadn't lied when reporting the incident, he might not have been arrested.

Glad that no one was seriously hurt

7 ( +9 / -2 )

62 people is a lot of people for a "small vessel."

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Its great (and lucky) that everyone is safe.

It's already quite dark at 4:40pm and will be close to complete darkness at sea not long after 5pm. For a school trip, that does not sound like very good planning.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The arrest should set an example to other captains. Good thing no reports of casualties.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How stupid to load all the guilty on the captain. Someone gave him the allowance to operate a ship that is not capable of detecting rocks in the water. Or someone did not gibe him money or a loan to install navigational devices that can detect rocks , and so on. There are many other people to blame, but of course, for all you simple stupids an arrest of captains will always do and it is also so easy and fast....

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

What happened to the captain going down with his ship ?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I was surprised seeing dangerous rocks existing under the bridge. Ships go under the bridge. Why did they not remove the rocks beforehand?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Sven Asai: Does the name of Francesco Schettino ring any bell to you? There are reasons why some areas are off limits to certain ships, and the captain is supposed to know about those as part of his daily job. If the captain chose to disregard, then that's his fault all day.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

He has admited to the charge. I have learned a lot about Japan from Japan Today News. I now know that people who get arrested are interrogated severely until they confess.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Them whales will get you in trouble every time......Nice try anyways

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a person with a boat in Japan, the shallow areas on well navigated areas should of been marked

4 ( +4 / -0 )

After careful consideration (reading this article) I hereby retract the statement I made about in-ept captains in the Philippines...it appears they are EVERYWHERE.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The captain is licensed.

There is zero doubt whom to blame.

There was nothing to admit. It happened.

That seems an awfully small vessel...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Shrimp of Art? Sakura-ebi catches have been very poor this year, and so the fisherman was trying to make money on the side; he should HAVE [not 'of'] spent a little more time studying the navigational charts for the seas near Yoshima Island...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Agree with @Mr Kipling.

happy nobody was hurt, but life experience for Japanese’s school kids is just school, cram school and tests.

these kids will have a valuable experience to remember.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In this pandemic time, why oh why are school children going on trips and crammed together on a small boat?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How stupid to load all the guilty on the captain. 

Sven Asai, you don't really know much about the maritime laws, do you? For your information, the captain is always the one ultimately responsible for the welfare of the passengers, and it was so centuries before ships were able to detect submerged laws. The moment the first passenger got even his toes wet was the moment the captain knew he will be ending under arrest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder how many people the boat was licensed to carry? 50+ seems a bit much for a boat this size. It is a requirement of the boat inspection conducted every three years that the boat be certified for a specific number of passengers, meets all safety requirements and is capable to handle the intended operating area. If you are operating a boat for hire, you also have to have an endorsement on your operators license as well as liability insurance. The Seto Sea is not a very boat friendly place all in all. I sailed a 41 foot sail boat through there a few years back and encountered every type of water hazard imaginable, from floating fish traps and nets to uncharted reefs, structures and rocks. As other posters have pointed out, when all is said and done, the Captain is responsible for the safety of the vessel and the souls onboard........regardless........

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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