Japan Coast Guard reports patrol ship grounding incident off Niigata prefecture

Echigo in 2021 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/lioyd)

The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that one of its patrol vessels ran aground in the waters off Kashiwazaki in Niigata prefecture on Wednesday, January 18.

The 105-metre Echigo was underway when it struck a reef in the Sea of Japan about 1.1 kilometres off the coast at around 06:35 local time on Wednesday.

None of the 43-strong crew suffered injuries from the grounding. However, the crew said that oil has already begun leaking from the hull and flooding has also been detected in at least one compartment.

Coast guard officials said the vessel may have drifted onto the reef, as the wind speed in the area at the time of the grounding was about 10 metres per second.

Authorities have already begun investigating the incident.

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