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Three die as fast moving waves lash Yomitan area

Date Posted: 2007-04-26

Fast moving waves triggered by bad weather and tides apparently took three men by surprise at two separate northwest central locations last week, sweeping them to their deaths.

The coastal stretch between Yomitan and Onna Villages is always considered treacherous during rough weather, and Wednesday was no exception. A party of 13 construction workers on a beach outing to pick seashells was careless as they wandered at Cape Zampa, walking two kilometers out on a reef. As waves swept in, they raced to safety on shore.

Two, including construction company owner Shigemitzu Shinjo, didn’t make it. Shinjo had organized the outing, declaring the day too wet to work, then suggesting the shell-picking trip. One of Shinjo’s employees saw the danger and called Shinjo on his cell phone to warn him. “Oh my God” were Shinjo’s last words. He and an employee were later found drowned, floating on the water.

Another man died at nearby Seragaki Beach, as he walked with relatives some 200 meters offshore. The family outing was to collect seashells.

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