Two feared dead as Japanese ship capsizes following collision

Two seafarers are feared dead after Japanese interisland general cargo ship Izumi Maru (IMO 9371220) collided with container ship Contship Uno (IMO 9379026) in the busy Kii Channel in southeastern Japan just before midnight local time on Friday August 25th .The Izumi Maru capsized soon after.

The incident occurred about 15km off the coast of Wakayama prefecture, to the south of Osaka.

The Izumi Maru flipped over after coming into contact with the significantly larger TS Lines-chartered Contship Uno. The bow of the Contship Uno suffered slight damage as a result of the accident.

The Japanese Coast Guard  that three crewmembers were rescued and transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while a search was continuing for two missing crewmembers.

The Liberian-flagged Contship Uno radioed the Coast Guard shortly before midnight on August 24th, reporting that it had been in a collision with another vessel. The location was reported as approximately nine miles offshore in the eastern Wakayama Prefect near Hidaka.

Only a small portion of the Izumi Maru remained above the waterline, but the vessel had not sunk. The ship is operated by Izumi Kaiun of Tokyo, which reported that the vessel had loaded a cargo of scrap metal. It had departed Funabshi in Chiba Prefect on August 22nd and was sailing into the Seto Inland Sea.

Six patrol boats from the Japanese Coast Guard and a helicopter were involved in the search. Images show divers entering the water at daylight on Saturday and searching the area around the overturned cargo ship. The Japanese media reported the captain and the first officer are missing.

The containership managed by Contships of Greece was operating interisland in Japan having made port calls at Kobe, Nagoya, and Yokohama before departing from Osaka on August 24th, destination Keelung, Taiwan. There were no reports of injuries among the containership’s crew.

The JCG reported that visibility at the time was good.

2006-built, Japan-flagged, 499 gt Izumi Maru is owned and managed by Izumi Kaiun KK of Tokyo, Japan.

2007-built, Liberia-flagged, 9,940 gt Contship Uno is owned by Schleswig Navigation Corp care of Contships Management Inc, of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Skuld (Piraeus unit) on behalf of Contships Management Inc. As of August 28th the vessel remained moored at Wakayama, Japan.