national

8-year-old girl, grandfather drown at Ibaraki beach

24 Comments

An 8-year-old girl and her 77-year-old grandfather drowned at a beach in Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Thursday.

According to police, the girl, Miho Ishizaki and her grandfather Hiroshi Ishizaki had gone to the beach just before noon. Fuji TV reported that Miho apparently went out too deep and was swept away by a strong current. When her grandfather went in after her, he, too, got into difficulties about 50 meters from the shore.

A nearby surfer was able to bring the girl and her grandfather to shore but they had lost consciousness. They were taken to hospital by helicopter but were pronounced dead about three hours later.

Police said the beach has a sign warning swimmers of strong rip currents.

© Japan Today

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Very sad. Nearly happened to a friend of mine.

Be safe. Those rip currents are strong.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Although it goes against your natural sense of preservation; it is always better to not fight against their power and tire yourself out, and let the rip currents take you out to sea; then swim parallel down the beach/ coast until you can get inshore again.

Unfortunately, although there are warnings here, there is little information what to do if you are caught in one.

RIP Grandad and Miho

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Police said the beach has a sign warning swimmers of strong rip currents."

What the TV news showed last night were multiple, vividly colored, clearly and strongly worded warning signs. It's really unfortunate that people ignore these kind of warnings and even let little children play in such areas. Authorities don't generally put up such signs just to give themselves something to do, they are there for good reason and should be paid attention to. That poor little girl.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

wander

Generally, good advice. The problem with Japan's coast is much of it has small coves. Even the releatively long beaches are deceptive, with irregular underwater terrain. IOW, the rip curls don't just take you out. They mush you around in a cycle, every which way.

Really dangerous.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Grandfather and granddaughter enjoying a day out only to end tragically. These stories make me so sad. I know how excited my kids are when they go out with their grandparents or aunts and uncles.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A nearby surfer was able to bring the girl and her grandfather to shore but they had lost consciousness.

What happened next? Any attempts at resuscitation? It takes a while for a helicopter to arrive and by then it would have been too late.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Tragic. RIP.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Schools simply do not teach children to swim properly or at least be able to stay afloat for extended periods.. Pools are only opened 2 months of the year. What do you expect.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

really really sad

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was a surf lifesaver in Australia for many years prior to coming to Japan and know very well how easily people get into trouble in the surf. Most people will swim in an area of the beach with smaller or no waves. Unfortunately, these areas are deep channels with strong undertows that pull people out to see. Japan is an island nation and I am always surprised by the lack of swimming education and how few volunteer surf lifesaving clubs and patrolled beaches there are. There is a rule for beach swimming in Australia - No flags, No swimming! This advice would have saved this little girl and her grandfather.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"pools are only open for 2 months of the year. What do you expect ?" Forget the grammar corrections to this, just realise that an 8 year old is just learning how to overcome the fear of dunking or submerging their head under water. They are still much too weak and inexperienced- even if they have had years of morning swimming lessons. Grandpa was very brave and had no choice, of course. I'm fifty and can't imagine surviving the attempt...I have an 8 y.o. girl. She sinks like a pebble...I do agree that wading in the deep end and learning to conserve energy and not to panic is essential training that I had back in Canada, but here in Japan in places like Shizuoka ( Hamamatsu) they take the dangers of the sea very seriously. Nontheless, I was surprised when many of my sixth graders - 11 y.o.- raised their hands when I asked' Who can't swim'?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the beach has a sign warning swimmers of strong rip currents

Those signs are there for a reason. Even strong swimmers have trouble with riptides. A kiddy and a senior, neither should have been in the water at that beach. The vernacular news is saying that at the beach in question swimming is prohibited because it's known to be dangerous.

Very, very sad that they lost their lives, and sadder still that it could and should have been avoidable. What was the grandfather thinking, letting the girl go into the water when there are 'No swimming' signs up?

http://mainichi.jp/articles/20160812/k00/00m/040/079000c

3 ( +4 / -1 )

if you get in a rip current the main thing is to stay calm. No use trying to swin directly against the current. you need to swim diagonally towards the shore until your out the current. rip currents are normally in certain areas of each beach. If the beach has flags then only swim between the flags.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wtfjapan - If you get in a rip current the main thing is to stay calm. No use trying to swin directly against the current. you need to swim diagonally towards the shore until your out the current. rip currents are normally in certain areas of each beach.

The rips on beaches can change three or four times a day with the tides. The average person has no idea how to recognise them, which is actually quite easy. Swimming diagonally against them is false information and can tire you out just as quickly. The surf was not so big on Thursday and if she had just stayed calm and went the the rip she would most likely have found herself back on a sand bar very quickly. Ocean currents on the east coast of Japan run south to north. When waves come in they push a lot of water onto the beach and the rips (areas of no waves) are where the water runs back out to sea. This means there is a constant in and out motion of the rips and if you are caught in a rip you should swim out with it and come back in on the next sand bar (where the waves are). If you cannot find a way back in just wait calmly and hold your hand in the air. Someone will rescue you. There are always surfers in the water and they will save you. If you are swimming where there are no surfers or other people and you lack a knowledge of safe swimming areas on the beach you are very foolish and will most likely make headlines like this one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you are swimming where there are no surfers or other people and you lack a knowledge of safe swimming areas on the beach you are very foolish

Or maybe you are 8 years old and don't know the dangers. Or what to do to get out of danger. It was the adults who allowed her to go in the water who were very, very foolish. Though the word I would choose is not foolish but culpable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Harry_GattoAUG. 12, 2016 - 09:32AM JST

A nearby surfer was able to bring the girl and her grandfather to shore but they had lost consciousness.

What happened next? Any attempts at resuscitation? It takes a while for a helicopter to arrive and by then it would have been too late.

I have to think of the devastating effects of the internet comments like this on the society.

The comment is implicitly blaming the person who tried to rescue the girl and the old man, ASSUMING the surfer did nothing after he had brought them to the beach. The comment is on the internet for everyone to read, and people would think that the surfer could have saved them or should have saved them. Of course, the surfer can read the comment by himself, or he can know of the comment via someone. Even though he tried to save them, he may feel as if he had killed them. He would think twice before trying to save someone drowning in the future.

I think that he did his best and that raising questions without knowing the actual situation in front of a keyboard in an air conditioned room is nothing positive.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Schools simply do not teach children to swim properly

In my experience Japanese generally know how to swim better than a lot of people in other countries. Certainly they swim better than people in the UK. I don't think you can blame the schools, not least because they're unlikely to think it necessary to teach 8 year olds what to do if you get caught by a rip tide. When I was at school the issue wasn't brought up once at any age.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is sad, heart-rending and unfortunate...。

There are many beautiful beaches in Ibaraki, yet the currents and waves there are also known to be high and dangerous even in the summer, especially in the Joban Area side where Hokota is. Why there aren't any lifesavers in the beach, and a surfer instead tried to save them and brought them back to shore? I am assuming it is a public-beach, Was it? Hearing many tragic water-drowning incidents every summer here is sad. Children should always be accompanied by their 保護者 (guardians; parents) when going to any water-leisure.. must always have an adult on watch.

Obong is approaching and many will flock the nearest river; lake; the sea; and the coast and beaches to relieve and escape the heat. Be very careful. Be SAFE everyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Strong surfers do not have any problem with Rips. We use them to get out to body board and surf. They are our friends.

Little kids love to explore and will do dangerous things just like teenagers do, so grandpa was in the wrong. He should have been wading with her and holding her hand at all times.

Was he sitting back on the beach having a smoke perhaps?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Why there aren't any lifesavers in the beach

Because it was supposedly closed to swimmers.

He should have been wading with her and holding her hand at all times.

He should have been teaching her that 遊泳禁止 means that you don't go in the water.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

R.I.P. Nice try by the surfers, but the really wouldn't have any idea how to resuscitate anyone, let alone treat for basic shock. I hope they, and the family of the lost, can get on with their lives.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

According to Mainichi and NHK, other family members were with them at the time and it was one of them that called 110. Also the girl and grandfather were both in the water when she was swept away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trapped: Why do you think all surfers would not know how to resuscitate? I would. I get retaught every year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not from a place with much ocean swimming so excuse my ignorance, but can a rip current get you in water that is shallow enough to stand up in?

I don't take my kids to beaches with warnings about currents, but even then, as a rule I try to ensure my kids don't go more than 5-10 meters away from me in water they can't stand up in. It's sometimes me alone watching two of them, so I err on the safe side. If that spoils their fun (it doesn't), then so be it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites