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Several missing as South Korean-flagged tanker capsizes off Japan

Search operation under way after 11 member-strong Keoyoung Sun turns over off southwestern Japan’s Honshu main island.

Keoyoung Sun, a South Korean-flagged chemical tanker, capsized off the coast of Yamaguchi prefecture in western Japan [Kyodo via Reuters]Published On 20 Mar 202420 Mar 2024

Rescue teams are searching waters off Japan for at least two people missing after a South Korean-flagged tanker capsized in rough seas.

The Keoyoung Sun turned over on Wednesday near Mutsure Island, just off southwestern Japan’s Honshu main island, about 1,000km (620 miles) from the capital, Tokyo.

The coastguard said it had rescued nine people out of an 11-member crew made up of two South Koreans, including the captain, eight Indonesians and a Chinese national.

There was no immediate information on what caused the ship to capsize.

Earlier, the crew had alerted the coastguard that the tanker was tilting as it took refuge near Mutsure Island due to rough weather, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The tanker was carrying 980 tons of acrylic acid, officials said. No leak has been detected, and officials are studying what environmental protection measures may be needed in case there is a leak.

Footage from NHK showed the overturned red hull of the ship as well as a life raft, as a coastguard ship pounded through heavy waves and a helicopter flew overhead.

The ship completely capsized by the time rescuers arrived at the scene, the coastguard said.

According to the specialist website vesselfinder.com, the Keoyoung Sun is a chemical and oil products tanker built in 1996, measuring 69 metres (226 feet) in length.

There was no immediate comment by the ship’s operator.

Source: News Agencies