THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
March 28, 2023 at 19:02 JST
KAMEOKA, Kyoto Prefecture--A rower died following a tour boat accident in the Hozugawa river here on March 28.
According to the Kyoto prefectural police, the 51-year-old rower was pronounced dead at a hospital he was rushed to in a state of cardiac arrest.
A total of 29 people--25 passengers including three children and four crew members--were aboard the boat.
One crew member is missing after being swept away.
All 29 people were thrown into the river by the force of the boat running aground.
After this, other boats rescued the passengers and crew members, prefectural police said.
According to the prefectural police and the association of pleasure boat companies of the Hozugawa river, based in Kameoka, the boat set off at around 10:40 a.m. on March 28.
At around 11:30 a.m., a call to the emergency service reported that a sightseeing boat had become stranded on the river.
According to the association, because the rain on the previous day increased the water level of the river, four rowers, one more than usual, were operating the watercraft.
The boat tour is canceled if the water level in the Hozu Valley, which is constantly published by the land ministry, is 85 centimeters or higher.
However, on March 28, the water level at the valley was between 50 cm and 74 cm, a range that only requires the addition of one more rower than usual, according to the association.
The boat is equipped with life jacket belts for adults for the number of people aboard.
Rowers always recommend that passengers don the life jackets before the boat sets off.
Life jacket belts for children are provided if the passengers include children, but the association said that it’s not known whether the child passengers aboard were wearing them.
The boat was launched at 10:38 a.m. and it is believed that the accident occurred near a site called Otakase, which it passed around 30 minutes after departure.
A rower on another boat that set off after the vessel reported the accident by wireless to the association.
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