Tanker runs aground off Miyako, one dead, one missing

A small 99-ton tanker “TJ88” registered to a Mongolian company ran aground on a reef about 2 km east of Irabu island in Miyakojima City about 0:55 a.m., Monday, and sent a signal requesting help from the 11th Regional Maritime Safety Agency (Japan Coast Guard) Headquarters.

The Coast Guard dispatched an aircraft and a patrol boat to the scene. Four of the seven-man Myanmar crew were rescued from the reef, and one from the shore where he had managed to swim.

The 60-year-old chief engineer of the ship was found dead floating on the ocean. The 46-year-old captain of the ship is still reported missing.

According to Japan Coast Guard, strong 13 m/s northerly winds with waves about 4 meters high at the time of the accident may have contributed to the shipwreck. The Coast Guard had also issued a warning for severe weather conditions to the area.