TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan rescued about 60 North Korean crew members from a fishing boat that sank after it collided with a Japanese patrol boat that was chasing it out of Japanese waters, the Japan Coast Guard mentioned on Monday.
A Japanese boat (high R), which belongs to the Fisheries Company, begin rescue work as a life boat from a North Korean fishing vessel (backside R) floats within the sea, northwest of Noto Peninsular, central Japan, on this handout picture taken October 7, 2019 and offered by Japan Coast Guard. ninth Regional Coast Guard Headquarters – Japan Coast Guard/Handout by way of REUTERS
All of the crew members that deserted the fishing boat have been rescued and handed over to a different North Korean ship, the Coast Guard mentioned.
The collision between the North Korean vessel and a patrol ship from Japan’s Fisheries Company happened 350 km (220 miles) northwest of Noto peninsula in central Japan.
Following the collision shortly after 9:00 a.m. (0000 GMT), the Fisheries Company and Coast Guard mobilized seven ships and plane to seek for North Korean crew members.
The Coast Guard didn’t give particulars about how the 2 vessels crashed within the Sea of Japan, however Taku Eto, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, mentioned a pointy flip by the North Korean ship brought about the accident.
“The collision occurred as a result of the opposite ship took a pointy flip. There have been no accidents on our patrol ship,” Eto informed reporters.
A Japanese official mentioned the North Korean boat was fishing illegally in Japan’s unique financial zone.
“Usually, we police unlawful fishing with such steps as utilizing water cannon or displaying messages on digital shows,” Satoshi Kuwahara, head of the Fisheries Company’s enforcement division, was quoted by public broadcaster NHK as saying.
“This time, the contact occurred whereas we have been warning the ship to sail away.”
The collision happened close to a wealthy fishing floor referred to as the Yamato Shallows. Japan has mentioned North Koreans are illegally poaching squid within the space.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Tim Kelly; enhancing by Larry King