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Three boys hospitalized after stolen boat sinks

Date Posted: 2004-07-29

Three Nakagusuku youngsters narrowly averted tragedy when a small boat they stole sank beneath them in Awase Bay.

The boys, ages 6, 7 and 9, were playing and found an old row boat in the harbor. The two brothers and a friend took the boat, put it in the water and ventured out. Suddenly, the excursion turned deadly.

About 20 meters from shore, the boat began sinking. Screams for help were heard from the boat, and a man nearby on shore jumped into the water to try a rescue. The water was deep and the would-be rescuer turned back and called for help from office workers in a building not far away.

Four men raced to the water, jumped in, and rescued the boys. All survived, but one remains unconscious in serious condition.

Police say the boys didnít know the boat had a big hole in the bottom, and that the boat had been abandoned. They say its neglect that the boat was left there, and police do not know who the owner is.

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