JCG Patrol Vessel Runs Aground in Niigata Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Niigata Coast Guard’s Echigo patrol vessel is seen off the coast of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, on Wednesday.

KASHIWAZAKI, Niigata Pref. — A Japan Coast Guard vessel ran aground in shallow waters off the coast of Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, on Wednesday morning, according to the Niigata coast guard office.

No injuries were reported among the 43 crew members aboard the Echigo patrol ship and there was no danger of it sinking. However, water flooded part of the vessel and oil leaked into the sea.

The Niigata coast guard office said at around 6:35 a.m. the vessel struck a hidden reef about 1.1 kilometers northwest of Shiiyahana Lighthouse, whose light was off at the time.

According to the office, the wind speed was about 10 meters per second, so the vessel might have drifted onto the reef.

“Such a situation is unthinkable under normal circumstances. It may have been caused by human error,” a coast guard official said.

The Japan Coast Guard released a statement saying, “It is extremely regrettable that such an accident has occurred.”

On Jan. 10, a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer struck a rock in waters off the island of Suo-Oshima in Yamaguchi Prefecture and was unable to navigate following the accident.