Shari Holds Memorial Service on Second Anniversary of Kazu I Boat Sinking Tragedy

Two years after the Kazu I sightseeing boat sinking in Hokkaido, Japan, the victims' families are suing the operator for negligence, seeking accountability and justice for the preventable tragedy that claimed 20 lives.

Muhammad Jawad
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Shari Holds Memorial Service on Second Anniversary of Kazu I Boat Sinking Tragedy

Shari Holds Memorial Service on Second Anniversary of Kazu I Boat Sinking Tragedy

A memorial service was held in Shari, Hokkaido on April 23, 2024, marking the second anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Kazu I sightseeing boat off the Shiretoko Peninsula. The incident claimed the lives of 20 passengers and crew members, while six others remain missing. Michio Koyanagi, the father of one of the missing victims, attended the service to pay his respects.

The Japan Transport Safety Board's investigation into the accident concluded that the main cause was a lack of safety management by the boat operator, Shiretoko Pleasure Boat. The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters is currently investigating the company president and other officials on potential charges of professional negligence resulting in death.

On this anniversary, bereaved family members of 14 of the 24 passengers killed or missing in the accident are preparing to file a lawsuit against Shiretoko Pleasure Boat and its president, Seiichi Katsurada. Approximately 30 family members are expected to join the lawsuit, seeking damages and compensation for their loss. This will be the first time the families take legal action to hold the company civilly liable in court.

The ongoing criminal investigation into Katsurada's responsibility for professional negligence resulting in death has revealed troubling findings. The accident report found that Katsurada had been appointed as chief safety manager despite not meeting the necessary qualification requirements, and that a proper safety management system was not in place at the company.

Why this matters: The Kazu I boat sinking tragedy highlights the critical importance of safety management and oversight in the tourism industry. The bereaved families' pursuit of legal action against the company and its president underscores the need for accountability and justice in the face of preventable accidents that claim innocent lives.

The bereaved families are determined to uncover the truth behind the accident and hold Katsurada accountable for his actions. They believe that he prioritized profits over the safety of passengers and crew, ultimately leading to this heartbreaking tragedy. "We want to know the truth and hold Katsurada responsible for what happened," said one family member. As the investigation continues and the lawsuit unfolds, the families hope to find some measure of closure and ensure that similar tragedies can be prevented in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Memorial service held for 2nd anniversary of Kazu I boat sinking, 20 dead, 6 missing.
  • Investigation found lack of safety management by operator Shiretoko Pleasure Boat as main cause.
  • Bereaved families of 14 victims to file lawsuit against boat operator and president.
  • Boat operator's president lacked qualifications and proper safety system was not in place.
  • Tragedy highlights need for accountability and safety oversight in tourism industry.