TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese coastguard patrol boat joined a search Wednesday for nine crew members missing from a Chinese-registered ship which sank off the coast of Japan, a coastguard official said.
Five crew members were rescued from the 238-tonne Lurongyu 2859, which sank Tuesday morning off Shimane prefecture in southwestern Japan.
The helicopter-carrying Japanese coastguard vessel Daisen arrived around midday Wednesday at the scene of the sinking, some 390 kilometres north of Shimane’s Oki islands, the official told AFP.
The Chinese vessel is presumed to be a fishing boat but its port of origin and the identities of its crew members were not immediately known. The official said the Japan Coast Guard had received a rescue request from China’s search and rescue centre late Tuesday.
Two North Korean ships were also on their way to join the operation, the official said, citing information from Chinese authorities.