Dozens of N Koreans rescued after fishing boat collides with Japanese patrol vessel
Japan Today -- Oct 08
Japanese authorities said they rescued "dozens" of North Korean fishermen after their boat collided with a Japanese patrol vessel and sank Monday in areas crowded with poachers.

Coast Guard officials earlier said that about 20 North Korean crew members were thrown into the sea after their steel boat collided with a Japanese Fisheries Agency inspection boat off Japan's northern coast.

Officials later said they rescued far more than first thought, but did not give an exact number. They said they were still doing the math and making sure nobody was missing.

The North Korean boat sank about half an hour after the collision in the area called Yamatotai, known as rich ground for squid fishing northwest of the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture.

The North Korean boat had made an unauthorized entry into the Japan's exclusive economic zone and the collision occurred just as the Japanese patrol boat was warning it to move out, Fisheries Agency official Satoshi Kuwahara told reporters. He said officials were investigating if the North Korean ship was actually carrying out illegal fishing, and how the two ships collided.

The Coast Guard office in Niigata said officials handed the fishermen to other North Korean boats in the area after notifying Pyongyang's rescue coordination center to arrange their way home. It said the North Korean crew members had no life-threatening conditions.

Fisheries Agency officials said the Japanese patrol ship had no major damage and was able to move on its own.

News source: Japan Today
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