Sightseeing boat missing off Shiretoko Peninsula involved in accident last year

The sightseeing boat Kazu I is seen in this photo taken from the boat operator’s website.

Accidents involving tourist boats off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido have occurred before. In June last year, the Kazu I sightseeing vessel, which went missing Saturday, ran aground after leaving port.

In June 2005, a tourist boat ran onto a rock, rendering it unable to navigate, off the coast of Kannon Rock, near a lighthouse on Cape Shiretoko. Of the 32 passengers on board, 26 suffered minor or serious injuries after they were thrown to the floor.

In June 2019, a small sightseeing boat was wildly shaken by a steering error, resulting in injuries —including elbow fractures — to six of the 37 passengers.

There have been similar accidents in recent years in other locations, too, including near the cities of Otaru, Hokkaido, and Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, causing injuries to more than ten passengers on each occasion.