JUNE 27, 2013 — Paint samples taken by the Japan Coast Guard confirm that the car carrier NOCC Oceanic did collide with the fishing vessel Yujin Maru no. 7 on Sunday, June 23 (see earlier story).
The collision took place some 300 km off the Japanese coast southeast of Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. The fishing vessel broke in two and, though eight crew members were rescued by a sister ship, Captain Hiroshi Yoshizawa was reported missing.
NOCC Oceanic's owner, Norwegian Car Carriers ASA, reported today that the search for the captain has been halted.
"We at Norwegian Car Carriers ASA would like to express our deepest sympathy with the family of Mr.Yoshizawa, and with his colleagues and crew," said a statement.
The company says that the Japanese Coast Guard completed its investigations onboard NOCC Oceanic June 26 and "in full understanding with Japanese authorities, the vessel left the port of Sendai-Shiogama that same afternoon" and is continuing on her voyage to the U.S. East Coast.
The Captain and the Third Officer of NOCC Oceanic remain in Sendai-Shiogama for further interviews by the Japanese Coast Guard. These interviews are expected to be completed shortly.
The investigations by the Japanese Coast Guard and Japanese Transportation Safety Board regarding the circumstances around the collision are still on- going. Norwegian Car Carriers ASA will continue to do its utmost to assist Japanese authorities in these investigations.
The 6,450 CEU NOCC Oceanic was built in 2012. It is registered in the Marshall Islands.