Investigators raid Japan boat company’s office after sinking

May 1, 2022, 9:45 PM | Updated: May 2, 2022, 7:04 am
A helicopter hovers over Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to conduct a search opera...

A helicopter hovers over Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to conduct a search operation Wednesday April 27, 2022. The tour boat with 26 people on board went missing off the Shiretoko Peninsula, on Saturday. (Kyodo News via AP)

(Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Coast guard officials searched the office of a Japanese tour boat operator on Monday as part of a criminal investigation into suspicions that professional negligence caused the sinking of a vessel carrying 26 people in a national park last month.

The Kazu 1 sightseeing boat conducted the tour in Shiretoko National Park on the northeastern side of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, on April 23 despite forecast rough seas and warnings from other tour operators. It made a distress call that afternoon saying it was sinking.

Japan’s coast guard said investigators raided locations related to the tour boat operator. NHK public television showed uniformed coast guard officials entering the tour boat operator’s office and the house of the boat’s captain and said the company president’s house was also searched.

Separately, the coast guard planned to use a remote-controlled submersible camera to look inside the sunken boat in hopes of locating bodies possibly trapped inside. The operation was delayed Monday due to bad weather.

The boat carried two crew members and 24 passengers, including two children. Fourteen bodies have been recovered.

The hull of the boat with its name on it was found near Kashuni Falls, where the boat made the distress call. It was sitting on the seabed at a depth of about 115 meters (377 feet).

The operator, Shiretoko Pleasure Cruiser, had two accidents last year, including one that involved the captain of the sunken boat, Noriyuki Toyoda, the transport ministry said earlier.

Seiichi Katsurada, the head of the company, said last week that he approved the trip despite a broken communication device and forecasts of rough weather. The boat also lacked a satellite phone, he said. The crew carried cellphones that had no signals and apparently had to borrow one from a passenger to make an emergency call, the coast guard said.

Katsurada said waters at their home port were calm when the boat departed and the captain could have changed the tour plans if the weather worsened.

___

This story corrects that the boat was sitting with its hull on seabed, not upside down.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Barnabas types on his phone as he works from the home office as a pool in the garden while his wife...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Struggling to stay cool in Budapest heat wave

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Inflatable swimming pools are the new must-have item around Budapest as residents of Hungary’s sprawling capital struggle to stay cool amid one of the most oppressively hot summers in the country’s history. The pools have been popping up everywhere — in shared, open spaces outside apartment buildings, on small balconies, but […]
1 day ago
A man cycles past houses in Devonport, suburban Auckland, New Zealand, on June 30, 2022. A Thursday...
Associated Press

New Zealand house prices finally fall from dizzying heights

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand house prices fell year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade, a report showed Thursday, as rising interest rates finally halted a dizzying boom that had only gained momentum after the coronavirus pandemic first hit. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reported median prices fell […]
1 day ago
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headqu...
Associated Press

Asian shares track Wall Street gains on cooling inflation

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares advanced Thursday in Asia after benchmarks closed at three-month highs on Wall Street as investors cheered a report showing inflation cooled more than expected in July. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul saw gains of more than 1%. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. U.S. futures edged higher, while oil prices slipped. […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Russian mine clearing expert with a dog works to find and defuse mines along the high volt...
Associated Press

Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine

The prisoners at the penal colony in St. Petersburg were expecting a visit by officials, thinking it would be some sort of inspection. Instead, men in uniform arrived and offered them amnesty — if they agreed to fight alongside the Russian army in Ukraine. Over the following days, about a dozen or so left the […]
1 day ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, meets with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, center right, ...
Associated Press

Blinken in Rwanda to discuss Congo tensions, human rights

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Rwanda, the last stop on his three-nation tour of Africa where he has articulated Washington’s new strategy for engaging with sub-Saharan African nations as “equal partners.” Blinken comes to Rwanda at a particularly difficult time for Africa’s Great Lakes region, with the small […]
1 day ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Investigators raid Japan boat company’s office after sinking