TOKYO: Nearly a dozen Japanese ships and planes scoured a waterway Wednesday for eight Chinese crew members who went missing after two cargo ships collided at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, the coastguard said.
The Panamanian-flagged Beagle III, a 12,630-ton vessel carrying steel coil, sank early Tuesday after colliding with the South Korean-registered Pegasus Prime in the Uraga waterway.
Twelve of the 20 Chinese crew aboard Beagle III were rescued but one of them later died.
“Seven ships and three planes were dispatched today to search for those missing while cleaning up leaking oil” from the boats, said a spokeswoman for the coastguard.
She added that a survey ship had detected an object that could be the sunken Beagle about 100 metres (328 feet) down on the sea floor.
The crew of the 7,406-ton Pegasus Prime — six South Koreans and eight people from Myanmar — were mostly unhurt.
The sea was not believed to be rough at the time of the collision, according to the coastguard.
Tokyo Bay is Japan’s busiest waterway with some 500 ships passing through daily.