UCA News
Contribute

Two dead, nine missing as ship sinks between Japan, S. Korea

Three private ships were in the area and helped pick up five of the stranded crew members, Japan's coast guard said
This aerial handout photo taken and released on Jan. 25 by the 7th Regional Coast Guard headquarters of the Japan Coast Guard shows a coast guard vessel next to a lifeboat (top) from the Jin Tian cargo ship, after the Hong Kong-registered vessel sank between South Korea's southern island of Jeju and Japan's southwestern Nagasaki prefecture

This aerial handout photo taken and released on Jan. 25 by the 7th Regional Coast Guard headquarters of the Japan Coast Guard shows a coast guard vessel next to a lifeboat (top) from the Jin Tian cargo ship, after the Hong Kong-registered vessel sank between South Korea's southern island of Jeju and Japan's southwestern Nagasaki prefecture. (Photo: AFP)

Published: January 26, 2023 05:20 AM GMT
Updated: January 26, 2023 05:20 AM GMT

Two crew were confirmed dead and nine others were missing Wednesday after their cargo ship sank in rough waters between Japan and South Korea, Japanese authorities said.

Coast guards from the two countries, joined by military aircraft and a private vessel, located 13 of the 22 people who were onboard the Jin Tian, a Japan coast guard official said.

But Japanese medical authorities later confirmed two of those retrieved were dead, the official told AFP.

The crew were from China and Myanmar, but the precise identities of the dead, rescued and missing remained unclear, he said.

"Our vessels will remain in the area and will continue the search operation throughout the night," he added.

The Jin Tian sent a distress signal late on Tuesday evening from a position around 110 kilometres (68 miles) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Islands in far southwestern Japan.

Three private ships were in the area and helped pick up five of the stranded crew members, Japan's coast guard said.

Multiple vessels and aircraft from Japan's coast guard and military, as well as the South Korean coast guard and a private ship, were involved in the search operation.

The ship's captain used a satellite phone to tell South Korean coast guard officials that he and the crew would abandon the sinking ship in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Jeju Coast Guard said.

Contact with the crew was then lost.

The accident came as a cold snap hit much of Asia, with daytime temperatures in some of Japan's islands nearest the rescue site reaching just three degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit).

The 6,651-tonne Jin Tian is registered in Hong Kong, Japan's coast guard said.

In 2020, a cargo ship with 43 crew and 6,000 cattle on board sank off southwestern Japan after being caught in a typhoon. Two crew survived.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia