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Lifeless seafarer pulled from wreck of sunken freighter

In remembrance of those lost at sea. Photo: Shutterstock.

A second seafarer was yesterday found dead following the collision of two cargo ships in the early hours of Sunday morning.

So far, one crewman has been rescued, two remain missing and two have been found dead after the collision between two freighters in the eastern maritime waters of Japan.

Hopes had been high that a mariner would be rescued after Japan Coast Guard divers heard tapping noises from inside the wreck of the freighter Sensho Maru.

However, the body of Kazufumi Kamimura, a 60 year old officer, was yesterday pulled lifeless from the freighter Sensho Maru. The vessel sank in 30 meters of water not long after two a.m. in the morning on Sunday, May 26. There was a collision in foggy conditions between the Sensho Maru and the ship Sumiho Maru.

Graphic: Google Maps / Jim Wilson, FreightWaves

The collision took place in waters about 52 miles to the east of Tokyo. The Sensho Maru was carrying a cargo of 1,300 tons of steel. A metric ton is equivalent to 2,204.6 U.S. pounds. The Sensho Maru was traveling from Kashima Port to Sakai Port.

Second officer, Akira Yano, 72, was found dead on Sunday.

The 60 year old captain of the Sensho Maru, Hiraku Fujita, was rescued by a patrol ship.

Two crew members, both engineers, are still unaccounted for.

The other vessel, Sumiho Maru, suffered minor damage and the crew was not hurt.

A leakage of oil has been detected from the sunken vessel and measures have been taken to contain the slick. According to media reports, the vessel had about 50,000 liters (13,208 U.S. gallons) of fuel aboard.

Sensho Maru is 2011-built and Japan-flagged. It has a gross tonnage of 499 gross tons. Gross tonnage is a measure of space not weight; it refers to the entire enclosed volume of a ship. The Sumiho Maru is 2008-built, Japan-flagged and has 499 gross tons. The Japan Transport Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the  fatal collision.