Photo/IllutrationA signboard warns of the danger of rip currents in Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture. (Keiji Murayama)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

A spate of water-related deaths occurred around the nation on Aug. 12 as Bon season holidaymakers sought respite from the stifling heat and humid conditions.

Many accidents were reported along Pacific Ocean coastlines, mainly due to rip currents.

High waves were also forming as supersized Typhoon No. 10 approached from the south of Japan on its journey northward. It is expected to make landfall in western Japan between Aug. 14 and 15.

The Japan Meteorological Agency urged people to take precautions against gales, high waves and flooding caused by rivers bursting their embankments.

Beach-goers were urged to remain vigilant due to high waves even though the typhoon is still some distance from Japan.

The Japan Coast Guard's Yokosuka Office in Kanagawa Prefecture was alerted early Aug. 12 that several people had been swept out to sea from a beach in Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture. The call came from a man on the beach around 6 a.m.

Kota Ishikawa, an 18-year-old company employee of Kimitsu in the prefecture, and Yuki Shibasaki, a 19-year-old university student of Kisarazu in the prefecture, remain missing.

Coast guard officials and Kanagawa prefectural police said a group of six men went swimming when five of them were apparently caught in a rip current and swept out to sea. Three of them managed to reach the shore without assistance.

Around 6:05 p.m. the same day, authorities were alerted by the owner of a vacation rental that two people had been swept out to sea from the coast of Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The victims were identified by prefectural police and the prefectural fire department as a 23-year-old female university student and a 25-year-old male company employee, both Vietnamese nationals living in Tokyo.

The woman was found early Aug. 13 in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest and later pronounced dead. The man is still missing, according to the Kashima Marine Safety Station.

Waves of about three meters were rolling toward shore at the time. Authorities said it was likely they got caught by a rip current.

Two brothers, both in elementary school, got into difficulties while swimming at a seaside resort in Tahara, Aichi Prefecture, around 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 12.

One of the brothers, 9-year-old Sakyo Haruzono, a third-grader of Owariasahi in the prefecture, drowned.

Around 1 p.m. the same day, a woman alerted authorities that a child was drowning at the mouth of the Tenjingawa river in Gamagori in the prefecture.

According to Aichi prefectural police, a 4-year-old boy was rescued but remains unconscious and in serious condition.

At Lake Biwako in Shiga Prefecture, two water-related accidents left three men dead.

Around 1:50 p.m., authorities were alerted that two men had disappeared at a lakeside area in Takashima.

About an hour after the alert came in, fire department officials found the bodies of two men on the bottom of the lake. They were found in water about three meters deep and were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.

According to prefectural police, the men attended the same university in nearby Kyoto Prefecture. They were members of a basketball circle and came to the area to practice and play. In between games, they visited the lake with other members and enjoyed jumping into the water from a boat dock.

A 25-year-old male company employee from Fukuoka Prefecture was found drowned in a pool in the Shiga prefectural capital of Otsu around 6:25 p.m. He was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead about an hour later.

The bodies of two brothers in their 60s were found on the morning of Aug. 12 off the coast of Nagasaki. Police are investigating the cause of death.

On the evening of Aug. 11, authorities were notified that fishing rods had been left unattended at a rocky area at the Kurohama-machi district of Nagasaki. Police are trying to determine if there is a link to the brothers’ deaths.