Japanese high-speed ferry apparently hits whale; many passengers injured

More than 80 passengers were injured, several of them seriously, after a high-speed hydrofoil ferry hit an object, probably a whale, in the Sea of Japan.

The ship was en route to Sado Island from the port of Niigata on Saturday March 9th when the incident occurred, leaving a 15cm crack in her stern.

Sado Steam Ship Company, which operates the Ginga ferry, apologized to its customers and said the ship looked to have collided with “marine life”.

The operator said that the ferry managed to reach her destination under her own power about an hour behind schedule.

The Japanese Coast Guard reportedly said that 13 of the injured were in a serious condition, although they were conscious. The boat can travel at up to 80kmh. One of the hydrofoil wings on the ship was damaged in the collision.