10 bodies recovered following tour boat disappearance off Hokkaido, Japan

Photo: Shiretoko Pleasure Cruiser

The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that 10 people were killed after a tour boat went missing off the coast of Hokkaido on Saturday, April 23.

The incident involving the unnamed vessel, owned by local operator Shiretoko Pleasure Cruiser, began at approximately 13:15 local time on Saturday when its crew sent out a distress call reporting water ingress.

Another radio message sent around two hours later stated that the vessel had listed by over 30 degrees. All contact with the crew was lost shortly afterwards.

The coast guard then despatched vessels, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft to the tour boat’s last reported position off the Shiretoko Peninsula.

Ten bodies were recovered from those same waters in a search and rescue (SAR) operation that lasted well into Sunday, April 24. However, no trace of the vessel itself has yet been found.

The coast guard said that 18 other people who were on the same vessel remain unaccounted for.

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