Ferry rides are one of the most relaxing past times and are popular with tourists and local people alike. Ferries are a good way to get away from the rat race, just sit out in the open water and relax in the sun. However, for one ferry in Japan though, their relaxing trip was soon cut short.
A jetfoil ferry apparently hit a large marine animal off Sado Island in the Sea of Japan on Saturday, according to the Japan Coast Guard. At least eighty people were injured and thirteen of those people sustained serious injuries, the coast guard said. At around 12: 15 p.m, the ferry collided with an unidentified marine animal. It is reported though that this collision did not prevent the jetfoil from reaching its destination on Sado Island, according to ferry operator Sado Steam Ship Co, there was a 15-cm crack found at the stern, presumably where the animal had hit.
No trace of any animal was found
Currently, coast guard officials are investigating the cause of the incident. The leading theory is that the vessel may have hit a whale or some other large creature, they said. The exact animal is still unknown. The vessel, which was carrying 121 passengers and four crew at the time, had left Niigata Port at 11: 30 a.m. It arrived at Ryotsu Port at around 1: 30 p.m, just over an hour after the collision.
Passengers are told by crew members to wear seat belts before departure as well as when the vessel is sailing, to minimize the risk of injury, especially in cases such as this one. One of the passengers told reporters how they heard the sound of the collision – a bang, and then their throat hit the seat in front as they were jolted forward. Other passengers were also moaning in pain. The boat is propelled by a high-pressure jet of seawater and can travel at speeds of 80 kph, which means it is able to connect the Niigata and Ryotsu ports in about an hour. Its hydrofoil wings were also damaged in the collision, slowing it down. The whole journey took about two hours instead of one.
Three years ago, a giant squid was spotted as it swam leisurely in the shallow waters of a marina in Toyama prefecture, just south of Nigata where this latest ferry collision took place.
One thing on everyone’s mind though is what is it? It would have to be pretty large to do that much damage to such a large boat. While many say it’s a whale, I’m not buying it. No one knows what evil lurks beneath the surface, way-way down in the deep ocean…