The collision caused a cargo ship to sink while a tanker sustained damage. Nine crew members from the sunken ship have already been rescued by the Japanese coast guard, but three are still missing, reports Reuters.
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
Nine members of the freighter crew have already been rescued after their freighter sank at 2:40 a.m. (1740 GMT) in Kurishima Strait, Japan.
The Japanese coastguard were quickly on the scene
The Byakko, owned by Prince Kaiun Co. of Kobe, hit a South Korean company ship, Ulsan Pioneer, in the strait, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said. The incident occurred 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of the Imabari coast in the Japanese prefecture of Ehime.
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 further said.
It took just three hours for the Byakko to sink, leaving its 12 crew members in urgent need of rescue. Japanese coast guard officials quickly deployed 14 patrol ships and three aircraft for the search in the Seto Inland Sea. Search and rescue crews comfort a survivor rescued from the sea
None of the 13 crew on the chemical tanker were injured in the accident. The Ulsan Pioneer, which is registered in the Marshall Islands and owned by Heung-A Shipping, did not report any leakages of its acetic acid cargo it brought from a Chinese port.
The Byakko carried a cargo of car parts destined for the town of Kanda in Fukuoka prefecture when it sank. On average, about 400 ships use the Kurushima Strait in southern Japan every day.
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