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Ferryboat owner drowns chasing runaway boat

Date Posted: 2008-04-11

A 50-year-old ferryboat owner has drowned while trying to swim to his boat, which had broken free of its moorings at Miyakojima City.

Kouka Uechi saw his boat come loose and untied from its mooring point at Taira’s Shimosaki breakwater, then get carried to sea by the waves. The shocked Uechi jumped into the water, swimming toward the ferry. Uechi battled the strong currents, which swept the boat more quickly out to sea. He drowned before catching the boat.

A Coast Guard search for Uechi was begun after the boat was picked up, but it was too late. When his body was recovered 2 ½ hours after the boat was found, doctors pronounced Uechi dead.

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