Posted on October 10, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Japanese authorities managed to rescue over 60 North Korean fishermen after their fishing vessel collided with a Japanese patrol ship.
The incident occurred during the afternoon hours of October the 7th, some 350 kilometres off the northwest coast of the Noto Peninsula, near Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture.
Allegedly, the North Korean fishing vessel collided with a Japanese Fisheries Agency inspection ship and promptly began to sink, sending over 60 North Korean seafarers in the water.
It took 30 minutes for the vessel to sink, but the Japanese ship had already managed to save the majority of the seafarers by then.
According to Japan, the fishing vessel was operating in Japan’s EEZ; the crew members onboard the patrol ship testified that they had warned the fishing vessel to retreat.
Allegedly, following the radio communication the North Korean vessel turned around, increased speed, and then proceeded to crash against the Japanese patrol ship.
Following the success of the S&R efforts, the Japanese vessel proceeded to hand over the North Korean seafarers to another North Korean vessel operating in the area.
According to Japanese media, the seafarers suffered no life-threatening injuries as a result of the collision.
The patrol vessel itself had no major damage due to the collision and continued moving on its own.
The Yamatotai area where the incident took place is known for its rich squid fishing grounds.