A ferry rolled and ran aground off
28 rescued after ferry runs aground off Mie Prefecture
Transverse waves and falling cargo caused the 7,910-ton Ariake to roll about 45 degrees near Mikisaki lighthouse in Owase, Mie Prefecture, early on Friday, according to the Fourth Coast Guard Headquarters in Nagoya.
The vessel was washed away by the current and ran aground off Kumano, Mie Prefecture.
One passenger suffered slight wounds to the head while the chief engineer was slightly injured to the shoulder. Two crewmembers jumped into the sea for fear that the vessel might sink, but were soon rescued by a coast guard patrol boat.
In response to an emergency call from a crewmember, the coast guard headquarters dispatched a patrol boat and a helicopter to the scene and rescued all seven passengers and 21 crewmembers by around 10:20 a.m. Fuel oil has begun to leak into the sea, coast guard officials said.
The ferry left a pier in Koto Ward, Tokyo, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and was scheduled to arrive at Shibushi Port in Kagoshima Prefecture at 9:40 p.m. on Friday, according operator Marue Ferry, headquartered in Amami, Kagoshima Prefecture. The vessel was loaded with 1,186 tons of containers and 78 vehicles including heavy machine tools, in addition to passengers.
Strong wind and high wave warnings were out in the area, according to the local meteorological observatory. A 3.71-meter-high wave was observed off Owase at around 6 a.m. on Friday.
(Mainichi Japan) November 13, 2009 http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20091113p2a00m0na002000c.html
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