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Japan ferry on fire off coast, 'passengers evacuated'

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Nice of the captain to stay and search for the missing man.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

that was very honourable and he sets a good example to other captains who have jumped off their ships during emergencies fast. well done. Hope they find the missing man.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Japanese ferry. 99% people alive

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I was always told the Captain should either be the last to be "rescued" and/or that he should "go down" with his ship... (I guess the Captain of the Cruise ship that sank off the Italian coast a few years ago, didn't know that...?) Apparently this one does ! He's a "REAL" Captain !

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This is not the same as any ferry disaster. This was a fire, which is a very different situation from when a ferry goes out of control and lists. Japanese ferry and maritime disasters were one of the worst in recent history. 70% of ferry and maritime deaths came from Japan in the 1940s to 1950s. One example is the Tsushima Maru, which killed 1508 people on board, including 767 school children. So Japan was clearly without ferry disasters. Nevertheless, this story released today is a welcome story, but please don't automatically say that Japan is more capable in preventing ferry disasters than other countries. This was a very minor accident compared to when a ferry goes out of control and lists, which, I can guarantee that most ferry captains will abandon ship.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

*Japan was clearly not without ferry disasters.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

overchan: "Japanese ferry. 99% people alive"

As Westerner pointed out, Japan has a large history of maritime disasters involving ferries, so I wouldn't go patting yourself on the back. This is not a 'disaster' by any means, and at best a minor accident, probably caused by the truck driver's cigarette falling out of the ashtray or something. It's good that the captain stayed and helped look for the missing, of course, but there's nothing "Japanese" about that in such a minor event in particular.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

a minor accident

Did you watch the news? There was smoke billowing out. Let's just be glad they handled the evacuation smoothly and kept damage to a minimum.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did you watch the news? There was smoke billowing out. Let's just be glad they handled the evacuation smoothly and kept damage to a minimum.

Yes, I watched the news. But smoke billowing out tells us nothing about the scale of the disaster. And it seems like the fire wasn't big at all, meaning that this was a proportionally minor accident.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

WesternerJapan87

Curious that you bring up the Tsushima Maru. So a vessel torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine 70+ years ago because it was part of a wartime convoy should be considered a "ferry disaster" and an example of Japan's past failures at maritime safety? Interesting. I'd say that that disaster has hardly anything in common with the ineptitude in passenger vessel operations that continue to be demonstrated by certain other first world nations today...

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Japan is the country with most ferries going everywhere. But its the safest by far

11 ( +13 / -2 )

2015 is completely different than the 1940s. Crew standards today are much stricter than 70 years ago. Plus of course there was a war going on in the 40s.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japan is the country with most ferries going everywhere.

I doubt that. There is a bridge or tunnel between every major island in Japan.

Indonesia comes to mind.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Curious that you bring up the Tsushima Maru. So a vessel torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine 70+ years ago because it was part of a wartime convoy should be considered a "ferry disaster" and an example of Japan's past failures at maritime safety?

It technically was a ferry disaster. Anyway, there were many more ferry disasters in recent history in Japan that killed hundreds, if not, thousands of people each. Shiun Maru, Toya Maru, etc.

Japan's Kiche Maru - 1000 or more dead Japan's Tsushima Maru - 1508 dead, mostly children Japan's Ural Maru - 2000 dead, lots of hospital staff like nurses were killed Japan's Toya Maru - 1153 dead Japan's Wusung - 900 dead Japan's Yoshino - 319 dead Japan's Matsushima - 206 dead Japan's Shiun Maru - 166 dead Japan's Chisima - 75 dead Japan's Teia Maru - 2665 dead, some soldiers

10,000 or more Japanese civilians, a lot of them women and children, died in modern history due to ferry disasters. Again, I reiterate that the fire that broke out in this ferry and the disaster response was good. But please don't act as if Japan is suddenly a country where ferry disasters don't occur.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Look westerner and smith we get it, you dont like jpn. move to sk already, sheesh. Kudos to the rescue team.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Japanese ferry and maritime disasters were one of the worst in recent history

@WesternerJapan87

Can you share with us information on recent Japanese maritime disasters, particularly "worst" ones? Tsushima Maru does not count, it is a casualty of war, a ship sunk by a US submarine. The worst peacetime maritime disaster involved a ferry, but not a Japanese - Philippine ferry Dona Paz in 1987:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Do%C3%B1a_Paz

There were also massive loss of life in other Philippine and Bangladeshi ferry disasters, but not Japanese for at least thirty - forty years.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Can you share with us information on recent Japanese maritime disasters, particularly "worst" ones? Tsushima Maru does not count, it is a casualty of war, a ship sunk by a US submarine.

Read my recent comment, it lists some of the civilian-related Japanese ferry/maritime disasters.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Kichemaru. 1912 by a thyphon, toyanmaru 1955 by a typhon, uralmaru torpedoed in 1937. Like I said. apan ferry safety is top best. Inbthe last 60 years Japan has had less ferry related deaths than Korea or China in the last 5 years

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japanese ferry. 99% people alive

Bizarre how some people use such incidents for chest-beating, "This proves Japan is better than XYZ country" etc.

The normal reaction is just to be thankful no-one died. Good job by the crew of the ferry.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

westernerjapan, I think your definition of "recent" differs from most of us.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Read my recent comment, it lists some of the civilian-related Japanese ferry/maritime disasters.

@WesternerJapan87

First, as you pointed out, we're talking about "civilian-related" disasters. Matsushima and Yoshino do not fit in, they were warships. Then, ex-civilian ships, pressed into military service and lost during wartime, also do bot count - however tragic, they were casualties of war, lost due enemy action. Kiche Maru? It's 1912!! May be then we'll discuss Titanic? Well, what remained? Toya Maru, 1954, Suiun Maru 1955. Great tragedies, but they happened more then half a century ago. But what about " recent"? Anything at least in 60s-70s?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Look westerner and smith we get it, you dont like jpn. move to sk already, sheesh. Kudos to the rescue team.

South Korea is another nation where ferry disasters are rampant. For example, the recent MV Sewol which killed 304 people including 250 students is due to the corrupt nature of South Korean conglomerates. If I recall correctly, they overloaded the ferry for financial gain. Another recent ferry disaster is the Costa Concordia in Italy. Both were cases of severe or difficult to handle ferry disasters, where the ferry went out of control and listed.

westernerjapan, I think your definition of "recent" differs from most of us.

"Recent" and "modern" history refer to anything from the 20th and 21st century. Most high school modern history programs use this definition. Of course, I don't mean "recent" as in a few weeks or months ago.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Japan is the country with most ferries going everywhere. But its the safest by far

Total non sense, the busiest single ferry route (in terms of the number of departures) is across the northern part of Øresund, between Helsingborg, Scania, Sweden and Elsinore, Denmark.

Also note that the busiest seaway in the world is the English Channel that connects Great Britain and mainland Europe with also a dense traffic of ferries that mainly go to French ports, such as Calais, Boulogne, Dunkirk, Dover, Dieppe, Roscoff, Cherbourg-Octeville, Caen, St Malo and Le Havre. Ferries from Great Britain also sail to Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Ireland.

And concerning safety in Japan, without a number backing up your claim, you will have a hard time convincing me. But since I suspect that you are making that up, I am not holding my breath for you to show us some numbers.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Smith

Your remarks are flippant to say the least. Having your cargo catch fire is no laughing matter, and is not peculiar to Japanese ferries, either.

However, being a Japanese ferry, it is likely to have been built in Japan to modern specifications and crewed by an all Japanese crew. Having things done "in house" is undoubtedly safer (but not necessarily cheaper) than having a Panamanian ferry staffed with coolies from the subcontinent (for example) who care little for their job or the people under their charge.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Nice of the captain to stay and search for the missing man. the captain is the last person who should leave a boat, or until it about to sink below the waves and theres no chance of finding anybody else alive

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anytime I read a headline with "ferry accident" of some sort, I always fear the worst. Glad to hear everyone disembarked safely, except the missing crewman (and I hope he is found safe and unharmed) and good on the Captain for staying aboard.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WesternerJapan87

I read you comments with much interest, do you think you can make like a tree and self pollinate?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

overchan: "Japan is the country with most ferries going everywhere. But its the safest by far"

If you're going to make these kind of remarks as though they are fact, you need to back it up with proof.

" Inbthe last 60 years Japan has had less ferry related deaths than Korea or China in the last 5 years"

Again, stats. And while you guys talk about things like being torpedoes not counting, keep in mind that being shot down by Russian missiles (or what have you) still counts towards aviation disasters for that nation or the airline, as with Malaysian air a couple of years back, and Korean Air long ago.

ANOther: " Having your cargo catch fire is no laughing matter, and is not peculiar to Japanese ferries, either."

Never said either was the case. I did say it's certainly not as serious as other ferry disasters mentioned in the least, since Japan is being held in such higher regards by some here. I also never said having a heroic captain is peculiar to Japan, as some seem to be suggesting, and as you might want to keep in mind since we're pointing out qualities that might or might not be specific to certain nations. I say neither are.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Read my recent comment, it lists some of the civilian-related Japanese ferry/maritime disasters

Unbelievable. Most of them aren't even ferries. You are taking steamships and military ships and grouping ferries. Of your list-

Kichi Maru 1912 (!) a steamship lost in a typhoon

Tsushima Maru A passenger/cargo ship sunk by US submarines

Ural Maru a 6,374-ton Japanese merchant vessel torpedoed

Toya Maru (ferry) sunk in typhoon

'Wusung' ?

Yoshino was a battle cruiser sinking after being rammed in 1905

Matsushima was a battle cruiser

Shuin Maru, ferry 1955 in thick fog

Teia maru repatriation ship, torpedoed

You are claiming that Japan has a worse history of ferry disasters by presenting a list or ships with heavy loss of life that aren't ferries, as ferries, to make your point. Your examples are all ancient, in terms of ships' equipment, all your examples are from before radar was available to civilian ships, and before weather prediction was as sophisticated as it is now. Never mind that three on your list were torpedoed and one sunk after it was rammed by another ship. Seriously?

Any recent examples? Post 1955, perhaps?

"Japanese ferry and maritime disasters were one of the worst in recent history. 70% of ferry and maritime deaths came from Japan in the 1940s to 1950s. "

Well that nasty little occurrence called WWII would account for most of those in the 40s, as even civilian repatriation ships were fair game for submarines.

Do you have any examples of horrific Japanese ferry examples along the lines of the one in Korea since the advent of accurate weather prediction and tracking, and outfitting of civilian ferries with radar?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

overchan: "Japan is the country with most ferries going everywhere. But its the safest by far"

If you're going to make these kind of remarks as though they are fact, you need to back it up with proof.

I'm starting to learn that overchan isn't big on proof. He/she just likes to throw out comments about how great Japan is, without actually showing it to be true.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

In all of the back and forth regarding Japan's safety record when it comes to ferries and how this compares to other countries, I would note two things.

First, this:

The Japanese coastguard said flames were spotted coming from a truck aboard the ferry and that it was working to put out the blaze.

While the cause of the fire has yet to be officially announced, this well could indicate that the cause of the fire had NOTHING to do with the actual operation of the ferry, but, rather, on the condition/content of the vehicles it was transporting. The outcome is the same, a fire on the ferry, but there is a difference between an accident caused by negligence, poor maintenance, lax safety standards, etc. on the part of the ferry operator and an accident caused by something potentially beyond the control of those owning and operating the ferry.

Second, it seems to me that when it comes to accidents like this, it should never be about whether one country is better or worse than another. It should be about every country looking at accidents wherever they may occur and determine whether there are lessons to be learned in one's own country, regardless of how advanced one believes one's own infrastructure and management is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Western I wouldn't exactly call the Costa Concordia a "ferry" because it was a pleasure cruise ship.. A much larger ferry without such a set itinerary :P

Also, compared to other Asian countries which have had many ferry disasters in recent years; like China with that ferry that had a 90% casualty rate, Korea with its several ferry sinkings, The Philippines and Malaysia with their fair share of ferry disasters. Japan is by far much "safer" if you look at it like that, but honestly preventing huge maritime disasters like this is no reason to become patriotic. Your're simply doing the right thing; which should be a no-brainer.

Also, for those questioning the U.S's submarine doctrine during WWII.. During a large scale war; all ships of your enemy, civilian or not, are either merchant vessels, solider transports or warships. The U.S. sank thousands of "civilian vessels" which were providing strategic resources to the Japanese mainland or her landholdings. As for the unfortunate sinkings of ferries.. If you were taking a ship in Japanese waters at that time, well, you knew the risks.. And it's extremely unfortunate that they were sunk.. And that goes for any nation's ferry ships sunk in any war in history.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Strangerland: "I'm starting to learn that overchan isn't big on proof. He/she just likes to throw out comments about how great Japan is, without actually showing it to be true."

Just starting? :) Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that people should be praising the captain, not the nation. It's nothing they did, nor anything Japan as a nation did. It's not comparable to an ENTIRE ferry listing and losing hundreds of passengers, and no more related to nationality than a car accident is proof that Japan is good or bad or in contrast to other nations. People who feel the need to take an incident of heroism and claim it as though it's inherent in some mystery Japanese gene (or other nation, but since we're talking about Japan here) or that everyone here is like that in contrast to everywhere else, and worse yet feel proud as though they were a part of it, are generally insecure individuals and NEED to do that kind of thing... without proof or stats. Likewise these people often feel embarrassed or ashamed of things they have absolutely no need to feel either emotion about if a company or politician, etc., does something stupid or copies an emblem or something.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

overchan

Japanese ferry. 99% people alive

Any such minor incidents and terrible disasters can happen anywhere, including Japan who have their fair share of ferry accidents. But I feel like your post was more of a typical "Japanese vs Others" type of thing. This won't be the first time I've seen a Japanese/Japanese-fevered person trivializing the Sewol fairy disaster. Now that's pretty uniquely Japanese.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

This is not the same as any ferry disaster. This was a fire, which is a very different situation from when a ferry goes out of control and lists. Japanese ferry and maritime disasters were one of the worst in recent history. 70% of ferry and maritime deaths came from Japan in the 1940s to 1950s. One example is the Tsushima Maru, which killed 1508 people on board, including 767 school children. So Japan was clearly without ferry disasters. Nevertheless, this story released today is a welcome story, but please don't automatically say that Japan is more capable in preventing ferry disasters than other countries. This was a very minor accident compared to when a ferry goes out of control and lists, which, I can guarantee that most ferry captains will abandon ship.

Grasping at straws as other posters have pointed out the fallacy of your comparisons.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A. N. Other - I object to your use of the term "coolies"...it's outdated and inappropriate.

You are correct in your general point that this is a Japanese-flag domestic-trading ferry, therefore it will be manned by well-trained and experienced Japanese crew, however you should be a little less ready to generalise about the standards of seamen from other, less weathy, nations. Most of the world's cargo ships are crewed by such nationals, and flagged under flags of convenience, but their safety record in many cases is exemplary. It's all about the management systems and motivation of the crew, and the willingness of owners to properly maintain ships, not about the flag of registry or the nationality of the manpower.

And before you make sweeping statements about seamen from the subcontinent, take a look at the salaries of the Indian masters in charge of LNG carriers before you pass judgement. They are probably, and deservedly, the highest paid people working at sea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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