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Barge towing sunken tour boat accidently drops it to seafloor off Hokkaido

The barge Kaishin is seen off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido on May 23, 2022. (Mainichi/Naoki Watanabe)

A sightseeing boat that sank off Hokkaido's Shiretoko Peninsula, leaving 14 people dead and 12 others missing, and was being towed by a barge as part of a salvage operation, was accidently dropped to the bottom of the sea on the morning of May 24.

    The vessel was later found lying on the seabed at a depth of 182 meters, according to the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters and others. The boat had been hanging from the barge at a depth of about 20 meters before it was dropped in waters around 11 kilometers west of Utoro fishing port in the town of Shari, Hokkaido.

    An inspection with an underwater camera found that the vessel retains its original features, according to individuals close to the Japan Coast Guard.

    (Japanese original by Yudai Hiraka, Sendai Bureau, and Shotaro Kinoshita, Tokyo City News Department)

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