Nine US marines rescued after boat capsizes in Japan’s Okinawa

‘Everyone was crying and shaking,’ said one of the sailors Nine US Marines were rescued on Friday when they were swept out to sea during a snorkeling expedition off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa,…

Nine US marines rescued after boat capsizes in Japan's Okinawa

‘Everyone was crying and shaking,’ said one of the sailors

Nine US Marines were rescued on Friday when they were swept out to sea during a snorkeling expedition off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, military officials said.

The US navy is responsible for the training exercises, while the US Marines were ferrying support items between the base there and a boat. The men were trapped in the sea as a torrential rain storm hit Japan’s second-largest island on Thursday.

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“Once they realised the fact that the vessel was going down, they were pulled into the life raft by the current,” one of the men, whose name has not been released, told reporters from the hospital in nearby Okinawa prefecture.

The marines had been on a reconnaissance mission about six nautical miles off Okinawan’s Dejection island when their 4ft (1.2 metre) tube boat and 11-tonne vessel capsized, leading to the injuries.

Another man suffering hypothermia was rescued with lighter goods, the defence ministry said.

Okinawa hosts more than half of the 50,000 US troops in Japan under a security alliance, which has long been controversial in Japan, where many feel the troops contribute to an unequal burden.

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