Cargo ship Jin Tian sinks off Japan with 22 on board

The Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship Jin Tian has sunk off southwest Japan and rescue efforts are underway.

The ship, with 22 crew members, sank early Wednesday 110 kilometers west of the remote Danjo Islands, part of Nagasaki Prefecture, a Japan Coast Guard spokesman said, confirming an earlier report by Kyodo News. The Coast Guard received a distress call at 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, he said, adding the cause of the sinking was still unknown.

A Japan Coast Guard ship.

A Japan Coast Guard ship.Credit:JCG/AP

The incident, which took place during an unusually cold week in Japan, appears to be the worst since a cargo ship carrying nearly 6,000 cattle sank offshore in 2019, leaving most of the 39-strong crew missing at sea.

Jin Tian’s crew consisted of 14 Chinese nationals and eight from Myanmar, the Coast Guard said. They boarded emergency rafts at 2:40 a.m. and the ship sank six minutes later, they added.

Japan’s Kyodo News reported that four were rescued and 18 are still missing. Korean media reported that the Korean Coast Guard rescued two people. The ship sank in waters between the two countries.


Three civilian ships — a Japanese research vessel, a Liberian tanker and a Chinese cargo ship — were conducting rescue efforts, maritime authorities said, adding that the Coast Guard and Japan Self-Defense Forces were underway.

There’s more to come

Bloomberg Cargo ship Jin Tian sinks off Japan with 22 on board

Callan Tansill

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