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3 crew missing after collision of Japanese cargo ship and tanker

Three crew missing after collision of Japanese cargo ship and tanker
Reuters May 28, 2021

Japanese coast guard ships and aircraft were searching on Friday for three missing crew of a cargo ship that capsized and sank after a collision with a Marshall Islands-registered tanker in the Seto Inland Sea, authorities said.

The Byakko sank at about 2:40 a.m. after colliding with the chemical tanker just before midnight in the Kurushima Strait, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

Nine of its 12 crew were rescued by the coast guard and nearby ships, he said, adding that coast guard patrol vessels were scouring the waters for the remaining three.

There were no injuries among the tanker crew, and no leakage or floating objects at the site, he said.

A Japanese coast guard spokesman identified the tanker as the Ulsan Pioneer, registered in the Marshall Islands.

The coast guard had deployed 14 patrol ships and three aircraft in the search, he said.

Three missing as Japanese cargo ship collides with foreign vessel off Ehime
Kyodo May 28, 2021

Matsuyama, Ehime Pref. – Three people are missing after a Japanese cargo ship sank early on Friday following a collision with a foreign vessel in the Seto Inland Sea, coast guard officials said.

The incident, which occurred off Ehime Prefecture and involved the 11,454-ton Japanese ship Byakko and a 2,696-ton Marshall Islands-registered chemical tanker, Ulsan Pioneer, was reported at around 11:55 p.m. Thursday, the Imabari Coast Guard Office said.

The Japanese ship had 12 crew aboard, and the missing three are male Japanese nationals — captain Tamotsu Sato, 66, first engineer Yuki Ogawa, 27, and second engineer Takahiro Uehata, 22.

The ship sank at around 2:45 a.m. Friday. Of the nine rescued, five were collected by a coast guard patrol vessel and four by a private container ship that was nearby, the office said.

The chemical tanker had 13 crew members — eight from South Korea and five from Myanmar — and no serious injuries have been reported among them. The ship sustained significant damage to its bow but remains afloat.

According to Prince Kaiun Co. based in Kobe, which operates the Japanese ship, the 170-meter-long Byakko left port in Kobe at 4:30 p.m. Thursday for Kanda in Fukuoka Prefecture. It was carrying auto parts.

The chemical tanker left a Chinese port on Tuesday and was scheduled to arrive at Osaka port at 2 p.m. Friday.

It is the second major collision involving a Japanese vessel this week after a fishing boat capsized off the Hokkaido coast on Wednesday after coming into contact with a Russian ship. Three crew on the Japanese boat were killed in the incident.