Sensho Maru crew dead or missing after collision and sinking

Japanese Coast Guard Patrol Vessel. Credit: Dietmar Hasenpusch

Two seafarers are dead and two more are missing after the collision of two Japanese vessels off Cape Inubosaki, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, due to severely foggy conditions.

Sensho Maru and Sumiho Maru, both 499-ton general cargo vessels, collided in the early hours of Sunday morning, causing the former to take on water and sink. It was carrying a shipment of 1,300 tons of steel to Osaka Prefecture. Some oil pollution was recorded at the scene, with local authorities working to contain the spill.

Despite Hiraku Fujita, the Captain of the Sensho Maru, having been rescued, his crewmate Akira Yano, 72, was found dead in the wreck as well as Kazufumi Kamimura, 60, while the other two crew — ; Hiroshi Seno, 69; and Saigo Umakoshi, 67 – are still missing. The coast guard has deployed five patrol vessels, a helicopter, and a search-and-rescue unit to hunt for the men.

“I’m extremely worried about the missing crew members,” Fumiko Fujita, wife of the rescued captain, was quoted in local news reports as saying. “I hope they will be discovered safe.”