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4 missing after fishing boat catches fire at sea in southwest Japan

The tuna longline fishing boat 51st Yujinmaru is seen on fire in this image provided by the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters.

KAGOSHIMA -- A tuna fishing boat was reported on fire off the Japanese coast on March 21, and four of its eight crew were still missing as of 2 p.m. that day.

    According to the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, a U.S.-registered freighter reported the longline fishing boat 51st Yujinmaru was on fire 185 kilometers southeast of the island of Tanegashima in southwest Japan's Kagoshima Prefecture at around 7:25 a.m. The 51st Yujinmaru is based in the city of Susaki, Kochi Prefecture, and was crewed by two Japanese and six Indonesians.

    About 10 minutes after the freighter's report, a Greek-registered LNG tanker sailing nearby rescued three Indonesians, whose lives are reportedly not in danger. Around 1:25 p.m. on the same day, an Amami Coast Guard Office patrol boat rescued another crewmember, whose nationality and condition are unknown.

    (Japanese original by Keisuke Muneoka, Kagoshima Bureau)

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