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2 dead, 3 missing after tour boat capsizes on Shizuoka river

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@asagoa - even if you CAN swim you should wear a life jacket in a boat - especially one with rapids. common sense.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"we usually give a life jacket to each passenger" - usually?!?!?!?!?!?!? life jackets are used for a reason. it amazes me that some people anywhere do not take simple precautions. so sad most of these kinds of things can be prevented.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not really, if you have common sense, you can tell it is too dangerous a wear a life jacket if you can swim. I often swim in rapids back home.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that even if you can swim it is safer to wear a lifejacket because you could easily hit your head or another part of your body in rapids and wind up unconscious or unable to swim due to injury? I dont know because I am not an expert in these things at all, I am just wondering if the info I was given was wrong or more dangerous.

I just watched an interview on JN TV with the owners of the business. There were no life vests on the boat. What the passengers were given was seat type cushions that float. The passengers all used the cushions as zabutans. If a accident happened, as it did, the passengers were expected to place their arms through the seat cushion's straps and float on their backs in the water.

I saw that too. How in the world is a toddler expected to do that, or even adults who are panicking at suddenly being dumped in rapids and been thrown around all over the place by the force of the water? Those things work beautifully if the boat gets a hole and gently submerges into calm, still water.

I dont mean to bash Japan - I love it here - but I am not so "rose-colored glasses" that I cant see some of the problems they have here, and attention to safety in all its guises - be it strapping kids into car seats, cramming 5000 people into a tiny square of pool, or in this case life jackets is a big issue here. On the other hand I would hate to see them go to the other extreme like we have in the UK and (for example) ban reindeer from a traditional Christmas festival with a 400 year history in case they bite someone! Or try to ban candles from churches due to the potential fire hazard! Is there no-one left in the world with good old-fashioned common sense other than JT posters??!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you can't swim and you go in a boat, especially one with rapids, you wear a lifejacket. If you have a bath, you check the water temperature first. Do we need to list some more common sense guidelines? Feel sorry for the 2 year old though, her parents must feel real guilty now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even the DUCK tours in the US won't leave until all life jackets are on...those that refuse are kicked off. It really shouldn't be up to the passengers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Plus, if a 2 year old child and a 83 year old man weren't wearing life vests, that's just unforgivable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

there's a difference between a boat tour operator, who's responsible for people's safety and what an individual chooses to do for themselves

In other developed countries, life jackets are mandatory in many state, provincial or local jurisdictions . This involves regular safety inspections by authorities. But this never happens in "safety country" Japan. Japan generally takes a lax attitude toward safety -- and pays the price.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

thank you paulinusa - my thoughts exactly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I often had BBQs on the bank of Tenryu river. It may look like a very calm river on the outside but once you are in it, there are also some nasty undercurrents. Never underestimate any river. It is outrageous that those people didn't wear life jackets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a theory based on 20 years of living and working among Japanese, watching them and reading their history. Whether it's accidents like that, Tepco, radiated food, earthquakes or just the silly people risking their lives by not watching on roads etc....

Japanese are missing the "imagine the worst case scenario" gene.

Clever people but they just don't seem to think about the "what-if" situations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've been snorkling and scuba diving since I was a child, and the ocean doesn't concern me much: with water coming and going, it is forgiving if you understand it.

I am terrified of rivers, though. Once trapped in an underwater obstacle, you're dead. Neither your strength nor your skill will save you: once your trapped, it's all over. The purpose of life vests is to prevent one from getting trapped underwater in the first place. (They may also come in handy if you're knocked unconscious.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll say it again: this was a RIVER, not an OCEAN. Oceans are forgiving; rivers will kill you on the spot. I swim in the ocean like a sea lion; I avoid rivers because they are dangerous. WATER IS NOT WATER.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

just watching it on the news - so sad

0 ( +0 / -0 )

too many people on one side of the boat

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not really, if you have common sense, you can tell it is too dangerous a wear a life jacket if you can swim. I often swim in rapids back home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Obvously there's a difference between a boat tour operator, who's responsible for people's safety and what an individual chooses to do for themselves ( although anyone who underestimates the danger of oceans or rivers is foolish )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just watched an interview on JN TV with the owners of the business. There were no life vests on the boat. What the passengers were given was seat type cushions that float. The passengers all used the cushions as zabutans. If a accident happened, as it did, the passengers were expected to place their arms through the seat cushion's straps and float on their backs in the water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saw the report this morning. The "life Jackets" were basically square cushions with two loops that you supposedly put your arms into and use by placing it on your chest allowing you to float facing up... it would be impossible for a child to use let alone a 2 year old as there is was no way to actually fasten it on. They reported that most people actually used them as a cushions, which makes sense as you could not even wear them.

The operators are definitely to blame here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rest in peace to the 5 people.

The operators are definitely to blame here.

I think legally they have covered themselves by providing the flotation devices - whether they were effective or not I guess is for the coroner to determine. Japanese parents need to take responsibility - as other posters have said it is the same with parents here letting kids crawl around in cars with no safety restraints. Recipe for disaster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yasukuni

in simpler terms too many in Japan lack common sense, clearly this is the problem with the majority of the customers

The operator is guilty of negligence, ditto for the dumb a$$ authorities who allowed the use of the seat cushions ONLY, the cushions as a backup to lifejackets, good idea, on their going down rivers = stupid beyond belief!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yasukuni I think you may well be right. I see it all the time. I dont know if it is a "genetic" thing or culturally ingrained in them - the same way they have it culturally programmed into them to be so disciplined with whatever they do (shoes off, hands wash, gargle, sport clubs etc) while we seem to be much more lacksidaisical about things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The children all had life jackets on. The owner said at the conference as well as reporters have confirmed that it is required for anyone under the age of 12 to have life jackets on. You can see some of the more bright yellow life jacket on the footage of the scene.

HOWEVER, being that a 2 year old is so much smaller compare to a 12 year old, it's not clear whether or not they had size-appropriate life jackets for toddlers which means there's a high chance that smaller children can slip out of the life jacket, especially in a flip-ocer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always thought, Japane and Japanese beleive in being well prepared for any disasters and following rules. But this incident is telling me the opposite

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think is a classic case of 'dumb, dumb & dumber' - The boat operator and the relevant government authority thank gave in to the boat operators and did not make the wearing of life jackets compulsory. Also, I don't think I ever seen such 'Dumb' designed life jacket - A small pad loosely fitted on the chest - Had the people where wearing life jackets that the reat of the world uses and wear - More than 90% of those who died would of lived!

I really hope that the families sue the ass off the boat/tour operator and the 'Soft Cock' government department who weakened it's stance of making the wearing of life jackets compulsory.

Very, very Sad for the Families AND Shameful and Disgraceful for "Dumb & Dumber"!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have seen many people all over the world not wear life vests on yachts, row boats, fishing boats, etc... however, what people do on their private boats is at their own risk. This is a business that takes people on boat tours... hence, they should be held liable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@yasukuni and Nicky Washida

Believe it or not, people overseas die from stupid causes too.

I was on a tour boat the other day in Australia. People leaned over the rails in full view of the captain. None of them wore liefjackets either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was on a tour boat the other day in Australia. People leaned over the rails in full view of the captain. None of them wore liefjackets either.

Was it a small narrow, packed boat lacking motorized power sailing right into a whirlpool?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was on the boat tour on Tenryu river last monday in Iida. The provided life jackets in the form of a cushion for you to sit on and did not require you to actually wear them..they were for emergencies only. this bothered me quite badly as many of the passengers were children and elderly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beaches in Japan are also dangerous. I have heard many cases of death....there are treacherous streams that push them to the deep water. Yeah, I agree with many people here. People should have common sense and avoid dangerous activities, especially very young, or elders... and if they do, make sure to have proper life-vests, not just small pads.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didnt some of them say "it was too hot" to wear a lifejacket? I agree that as a tour operator they have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of their passengers and this means that everyone has to wear a lifejacket.....!!! Water is not forgiving.....anyone can drown in 2 inches of water!!! In NZ its compulsory to wear a lifejacket when on the water (doesnt always mean people do but we are supposed to!)....why not make it the same here especially for tour operators whether it be on rives, lakes or on the ocean!!!!!!!!?????????????????????????? Then we wont get the endless amounts of bowing and apologies to families...............!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In other developed countries, life jackets are mandatory in many state, provincial or local jurisdictions

They are mandatory here, too, either the jackets or the flotation devices (although that's likely to change now).

Spoon, according to NHK this morning, only one of the children under 12 on the boat was wearing a life jacket.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What!!?? life boats should be mandatory. And what is a 2 year old doing going down rapids?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw the news last night...they had some footage of the boats loaded with passengers and I did not see 1 with a life vest.

...and I doubt the 2 year old decided not to put on her life vest.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yasukuni I think you may well be right. I see it all the time. I dont know if it is a "genetic" thing or culturally ingrained in them - the same way they have it culturally programmed into them to be so disciplined with whatever they do (shoes off, hands wash, gargle, sport clubs etc) while we seem to be much more lacksidaisical about things.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Like a Japanese guy in Bangkok (no protection hint hint).... The Japanese think they are immune to accidents, disease and death. Hence the Niagara Falls woman. Once again guidelines Japan with lax rules and laws kills people... RIP. They are their own worst enemy.... same with seat belts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Woo dowt hunderstand iwts twaditional we never use western wotation dewices wee awre swpecial, cwommon swence ha!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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