Investigators inspect Israeli ship moored in Hong Kong in deadly collision

Japan and Israel investigators inspected an Israeli ship on Friday in Hong Kong that collided with a Japanese fishing boat last month killing seven of its crew.

Two representatives from Japan's Marine Accident Inquiry Agency, four from its Coast Guard and one from the Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong boarded the Zim Asia in the early hours of Friday.

Michio Harada, director of policy planning at the Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong, said Friday the inspections were continuing but he declined to provide details.

An Israeli official also boarded the ship to conduct a separate investigation.

The inspectors boarded the scratched Israeli ship after it arrived in Hong Kong waters early Friday. Y. K. Lau, a Marine Department spokesman, said the Zim Asia was scheduled to leave Hong Kong waters later Friday, but he did not say where the container was headed.

The Zim Asia collided with fishing boat No. 3 Shinseimaru about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the cape of Nosappu in Hokkaido, northern Japan on Sept. 28. The smaller Japanese vessel capsized and seven of its eight-man crew died.

The ship's captain has denied responsibility for the incident, but Israeli Transportation Minister Meir Sheetrit vowed Thursday to punish the skipper if he is found responsible.

Doron Goder, president of the shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services, apologized to the families of the seven dead sailors on Friday, Kyodo News agency reported, reports the AP.


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