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Divers begin descent for salvage of sunken Hokkaido tour boat

The Kaishin barge, front, is seen leaving Abashiri port in Abashiri, Hokkaido Prefecture, on May 22, 2022. The salvage tug Hayashio Maru is seen in the back. (Mainichi/Naoki Watanabe)

Divers began to descend into the sea on the morning of May 23 amid work to salvage a tour boat that sank off Hokkaido's Shiretoko Peninsula last month.

    One month has passed since the fatal accident of the tour boat Kazu I, which had 26 passengers and crew aboard, and Japan Coast Guard ships have been searching the surrounding waters for 12 people who remain missing.

    At around 6 a.m. on May 23, salvage preparation work began on Nippon Salvage Co. barge Kaishin, and at around 7:50 a.m., divers began to descend in an underwater elevator, according to the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters. The boat will be lifted in the morning at the earliest.

    (Japanese original by Yudai Hiraka, Sendai Bureau)

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