Japanese Coast Guard boat bombs local island in live fire

The Shimoji patrol boat accidentally discharged its forward 20mm cannon while shelling a nearby island (photo IikaJzuchiN – CC BY-SA 4.0 license)

Posted on 20 July 2022 16:02 by

The Maritime Executive

The Japan Coast Guard was deeply embarrassed and apologized after one of its patrol boats accidentally fired live shells at Irabu Island in Okinawa Prefect located south of Japan’s main island near from Taiwan. the patrolman Shimojiwhich is stationed in the Senkaku Islands in the area used to search for illegal fishing by foreign vessels, unloaded its 20mm cannon to port during preventive check and inspection while anchored in port from Nagayama.

Authorities searched the island for damage and reported no injuries in the incident. A local media report, however, that fragments were found on the shore and that the windows of some vehicles parked near the port were smashed. No port building would have been affected.

“This should never have happened. We will do everything we can to investigate the incident,” an official from the Miyakojima Coast Guard Bureau said during a briefing later in the day. sincerely to the residents for the anxiety this has caused.”

An initial investigation indicated that the ship was anchored in Nagayama on Tuesday July 19. During the morning inspection, seven crew members loaded the 20 millimeter cannon which is at the front of the ship and put it on alert. Unaware that they had loaded the gun, the captain ordered a test of the firing system during which at least eight shells were fired ashore.

Initial reports said the gun, which is used against larger targets such as the illegal fishing boats they patrol, was pointed at a wooded area on the shore. They later said that the main road to the prefecture was about 600 feet from the ship. The gun has a range of up to approximately 5,000 feet. Additionally, a heavy oil storage tank for ships was only about 800 feet from the ship.

Speaking at the press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno called the incident “extremely regrettable”. Acknowledging that no one was injured, he promised a thorough investigation into the cause of the accidental discharge of the weapon.

Top photo by IikaJzuchiNCC BY-SA 4.0 license

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