The 19-ton Kazu1 was moving off the west coast of the Shiretoko peninsula, on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, on Saturday afternoon when it sent out a distress call.
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A Japanese tour boat carrying 26 people is believed to have sunk in rough seas – with no sign of survivors hours later, the coast guard said.
The 19-ton Kazu1 was flying off the beautiful Kashuni Falls, near the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, north of Hokkaido, when it sent out an alarm on Saturday afternoon.
Six patrol boats and four planes were launched amid a massive search after reports were made around 1.15pm local time (5.05am UK time).
The ship – operated by two sailors – warned its bow was flooded and the boat was leaning at a 30-degree angle.
Among them were two children – all wearing life jackets.
The fishing boats returned to port due to bad weather at the time.
A local fisheries cooperative said high waves and strong winds were reported in the area around midday.
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Public broadcaster NHK said there were warnings of large waves as high as 9ft.
The boat leaves Utoro port at around 10 a.m. and will return at 1 p.m., it added.
The boat can hold up to 65 people, according to the website of the operator Shiretoko Pleasure Cruise.
It adds that tours of the area usually take around three hours.
Waves were high and fishing boats in the area returned to port by mid-morning.
The peninsula is home to many rare species of flora and fauna, and icebergs often appear.
It was designated a World Natural Heritage Site in 2005.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-japan-tourist-boat-sinks-26779729 Japanese tourist boat 'sinks' with 26 people on board missing hours after 'rescue call' - World News