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Japan Sub Hits Fishing Boat; 1 Dead, 29 Missing

July 24, 1988|Associated Press

TOKYO — A fishing boat with 48 people aboard collided with a Japanese navy submarine and sank Saturday near Tokyo Bay, killing at least one person and leaving 29 missing, police said.

The 92-foot boat, chartered for a weekend fishing expedition, sank less than two minutes after the collision, police in the nearby port city of Yokosuka said.

Nineteen people were rescued from the boat, police said, but one of them, a 38-year-old man, died later in a hospital.

There were no reports of injuries among the 75 men aboard the diesel-powered submarine, and the vessel sustained no serious damage, officials with the Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan's navy, said.

Police said 19 ships and six helicopters with the navy and the Maritime Safety Agency, Japan's coast guard, were searching for survivors.

Police officials said the submarine, the 2,200-ton Nadashio, hit the fishing boat, the 154-ton No. 1 Fujimaru, on Saturday afternoon about two miles off Yokosuka near the mouth of Tokyo Bay. Yokosuka is 28 miles south of Tokyo.

Capt. Yoshiaki Nishimura, a navy spokesman, told a nationally televised news conference that the submarine was cruising on the surface on its way back to Yokosuka after a training exercise in the Pacific. The fishing boat, from the nearby port of Yokohama, was leaving Tokyo Bay, he said.

Authorities were still investigating the cause of the incident, he said. Visibility at the time of the accident was reportedly good.

More than 700 ships a day pass through the entrance of the bay, Kyodo News Service reported.

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