Salvaged Kazu I sightseeing boat unloaded at Abashiri Port

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The hull of the Kazu I sightseeing boat is transferred from a salvage barge to a trailer at Abashiri Port in Hokkaido on Wednesday morning.

A sightseeing boat that sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido in April was unloaded from a salvage barge at Abashiri Port and brought ashore on Wednesday morning.

Of the 26 people who were aboard the Kazu I sightseeing boat when it sank, 14 have been confirmed dead and 12 remain unaccounted for.

The salvaged hull was to be shown to the victims’ family members later on Wednesday.

The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, which is investigating the accident on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death, will conduct a detailed examination of the hull.

Personnel lined up and observed a moment of silence before the operation to unload the vessel started at around 6:30 a.m.

The Kazu I was transferred by crane from the salvage barge to a trailer and transported to a storage location about 400 meters away where it was unloaded in a covered area shortly after 10:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, the coast guard said it would continue the search for victims without support from the Self-Defense Forces and the police.

“The situation has shifted in preparation for a long-term operation,” a coast guard official said,