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Missing Japanese Sailor - Updates

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 01, 2009 12:54 PM

Published: 2009-06-01 12:54:55
Topics: Piracy Reports 2009
Countries: Japan , Seychelles

As reported on Sail Japan

Friends and supporters of Osaka round-the-world yachtsman Yonago Akio, fear that he may have run afoul of pirates in the waters off the Seychelles, his last known location, having not been able to make contact with him since his departure April 28th.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said it has not been confirmed whether he has been seized by pirates as reported or not.

ECOTERRA INTERNATIONAL reports in it's Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor update of May 10th: "According to statements from the Seychelles the sailor was guiding - on 28th April - one of four sail-boats due to leave in a convoy from the Seychelles. Three left, with the third lagging somewhat behind, which then was stopped by the French Navy and advised to turn back to Mahe Island, as two vessels who had just passed before him had been pirated.

Recent attempts to reach the sailor, who is known for his adventurous voyages, including sailing solo across the Pacific and the Atlantic in 1997, have been unsuccessful, which is why the alarm was raised. "We have sent an S&R; alert to all our marine observers along the Somali coasts concerning the S/Y EMU II and a possible second yacht, but so far do not have a direct response" an ECOTERRA spokesperson stated and added, "However, we found some information and have sent for clarification, if the sailor is already held in Somalia or together with one other hostage on the way to a Somali coast."

For the latest updates and further information on this story see