Search underway for 12 missing from capsized vessel

The Japanese coast guard is searching for 12 missing crew members of a 135-ton fishing vessel that capsized in heavy seas early on Tuesday off the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.


AFP - A Japanese fishing vessel capsized in heavy seas early Tuesday and 12 men are reported missing, coast guard officials said as they launched a large-scale search and rescue operation.

The 135-ton ship Daiei Maru No. 11, carrying 22 crew, capsized off southern Japan's Kyushu island.

The coast guard sent seven vessels and two planes to search for the missing men.

"Twenty-two crew members were on board... 12 men are still missing," said Naruhiko Sanuki, a spokesman for the local coast guard.

"We are searching waters near the spot where the ship capsized but have got no clue so far," he told AFP.

Ten crew were rescued around 10:00 am (0100 GMT) by fishing boats operating nearby and have been sent to hospital, Sanuki said, but their conditions were not immediately known.

The incident occurred around 13 kilometres (eight miles) from the city of Hirado.

Last month 16 South Korean and Indonesian sailors died when in a collision between the Panamanian-registered Cygnus Ace and the South Korean-registered Orchid Pia.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning