The Japanese Defense Ministry has revealed that a Maritime Self-Defense Force ship collided with a small, private fishing boat on Wednesday morning, sending all four occupants into the water off the coast of Hiroshima. While all four men were pulled from the water by the crew of the SDF vessel, a spokesman for the coast guard said that two were critical condition, having gone into cardio-respiratory arrest.
The accident took place at around 8:00 AM on Wednesday in the Seto Inland Sea, in western Japan, an area busy with fishing and serving a number of ports. One of the rescued men has stated that they struck the left side of the naval ship. The Japan Coast Guard has confirmed that it will open an investigation, but few other details have been released. The fishing boat was struck by the Osumi, a MSDF transport ship. Itsunori Onodera, the Minister of Defense, has publicly stated that the accident was truly regrettable, and that the ministry pledges its cooperation with the coast guard.
The two other fisherman rescued were described as being conscious and in stable condition, however their small boat was overturned and said to have eventually sank. One of the two men in critical condition has been confirmed to be the captain of the leisure boat.