Ferry carrying 74 disabled by apparent whale strike off Izu Oshima

Baku, February 6, AZERTAC

A high-speed ship carrying 69 passengers and five crew stalled off Izu Oshima Island south of Tokyo Saturday after apparently colliding with a whale, the Japan Coast Guard said. No one was injured, but seven passengers complained of nausea.

The 164-ton ferry Seven Islands Tomo took damage to its bow, but there is no fear of it sinking, according to the Coast Guard, which sent a rescue ship.

The ferry called for help around 9 a.m. about 13 km northwest of Izu Oshima Island, the Coast Guard said.

Tokai Kisen Co., which runs the vessel, said the ferry was en route to the island from Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture. Whales are often spotted in the area where the apparent collision took place. The ship, aware of the danger, was moving slower than normal, at 70 kph, according to Tokai Kisen.

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