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Fishermen claim U.S. GI’s endangered their boats

Date Posted: 2006-04-21

Rain and fog often blanket Okinawa’s northeast coast, but fishermen say they know the craggy coastline well, and can navigate without difficulty.

It’s not a problem, a 70-year-old boat captain says, unless you’ve got several dozen American Marines in the water exercising and swimming in their path. An incident last week put a boat from the Ishikawa Fishermen’s Association at odds with the Americans. The 20~30 Americans were in the water, despite the area being foggy and visibility poor.

“There were two boats and it was difficult to see, but the troops were swimming between the boats,” says a boat captain. He was following an ocean map to the harbor, and couldn’t see the Americans until they were very close.

“I have been fishing for 60 years, and I know exactly where every stone is, where every point on the island is, where all the sand is,” he said. “But I don’t know there were some American guys swimming in the ocean without notice. It’s unbelievable!”

The fishermen says it was a dangerous situation.

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