Saturday, March 9th 2019, 8:44 pm - The ferry was carrying 121 passengers at the time of the incident
At least 87 passengers are injured, with five suffering serious injuries, after a ferry carrying 121 passengers hit what is reported to be a whale in the Sea of Japan, according to BBC.
The high-speed hydrofoil ship was sailing from the port of Niigata on Japan's main island to Sado Island on Saturday when it hit an object that left a 15 cm (6 inch) crack in the stern of the ferry.
Public broadcaster NHK reports that the vice director of a municipal aquarium in Niigata says that the scale of the impact to the stern suggests that the boat struck a whale. This time of year is typical for minke and humpback whales to make their migration through the Sea of Japan.
The ferry operator has released an apology to customers, and states that the damage to the ship looks like it collided with "marine life."
The ferry was able to reach the destination an hour behind schedule and did not require any towing assistance. The five passengers that were seriously injured are reported to be concious, and all injured passengers have been taken to the hospital.