Specifically, the Niigata-Ryotso ferry is an ultra-fast vessel capable of making more than 40 knots, and its hull emerges fully from the water at operating speed.
While sailing to Sado Island, it experienced an sudden slowdown. Approximately, 80 passengers were reported with various injuries as they were thrown forward due to the collision.
According to sources, 13 of the passengers were seriously injured. suffering from broken bones.
After the collision, the ferry sailed to port at Ryotso.
The inspection revealed that the ferry had damage to its rear hydrofoil and a six-inch crack towards the stern. The Japan Coast Guard believes that the ferry may have struck a whale, and the Japan Transport Safety Board has launched an investigation.
According to local sources, this kind of accidents is a usual phenomenon in the region. For instance, in 2016 a hydrofoil ferry was disabled after apparently striking a whale off Izu Oshima Island, near Tokyo.