Boat Collision with Whale Injures 80 Passengers in Japan

Eighty people were injured after a high speed boat collided with marine animal off Sado Island in the Sea of Japan.

The boat was carrying 121 passengers in total. Five passengers were airlifted to a hospital in a conscious state, 13 passengers were believed to be in a critical condition. The crew told the coast guard that the “it hit the object [which appeared] to be a marine creature.”

Coast guard officials are checking the cause of the incident, they dispatched vessels and helicopters to site of the collision in the waters, however they still are to find the alleged animal. Preliminary enquiry suggests the boat may have hit a whale or something.

The incident occurred between Niigata and Sado Island, off Japan’s northwest coast.

The boat, propelled by a high pressure jet of seawater, operates at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour, connecting Niigata and Ryotsu ports in about an hour. Boats operating in the region are employed with devices that emit unpleasant sounds for whales, in order to avoid collision with them.