Five off-duty soldiers die as boat capsizes in Japan | world | Hindustan Times
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Five off-duty soldiers die as boat capsizes in Japan

world Updated: Dec 12, 2009 13:26 IST

AFP
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Five off-duty soldiers were killed and another was missing on Saturday after their boat capsized off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, officials said.

The Self-Defense Forces members were night fishing on an offshore breakwater 500 metres (1,650 feet) from Tomakomai port, southern Hokkaido, late Friday, a local coastguard official said.

As the weather turned bad, they tried to leave the breakwater on a boat but it suddenly turned over, throwing them into the sea, the official said. Another soldier who was with the six managed get back to the breakwater by himself, while rescue operators found five people floating near the breakwater, who were later confirmed dead.

"We will soon send a patrol boat out there to find the remaining one," the official said.

The meteorological observatory issued a warning of strong winds and high waves in the region late Friday.