April 25 (UPI) — Ten people from a tour boat that went missing off the coast of Japan have been confirmed dead, authorities said.
Japan Coast Guard and Self-Defense Forces found seven men and three women in the water or rocks near the tip of Cape Shiretoko off the northeastern coast of the Hokkaido prefecture.
All 10 people were taken to hospitals and other locations for treatment but were later confirmed dead, the Coast Guard said.
Aircraft vessels were dispatched as Coast Guard and Self-Defense Forces continued search and rescue efforts for the other 16 passengers who remained missing.
Fishing boats and tourist ships from the area also joined the search in the morning but returned to port amid strong winds.
The sightseeing boat, named “KAZU I,” was carrying a captain, a crewmember and 24 passengers, including 22 adults and two children, on a three-hour excursion to observe wildlife when the Coast Guard received a distress call indicating the boat had taken on water.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said the Kazu I collided with a floating object in May of last year, injuring three passengers and also ran aground last June shortly after leaving port but no one was injured.