Families remember victims of 2022 Hokkaido boat accident

Two years have passed since a tour boat sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido. Twenty passengers and crew members lost their lives. Six other passengers remain unaccounted for. Bereaved families remembered their loved ones, and declared such a tragic accident should never happen again.

A siren sounded a little past 1 p.m. on Tuesday -- the time the vessel KAZU I was believed to have sunk.

One hundred and fifty people gathered for a memorial service.

A man, whose son is still missing, asked not to be identified. He said: "The accident feels as if it just happened yesterday. Such a tragedy must never happen again."

Officials say the accident exposed the boat operator's inadequate safety practices.

The Transport Safety Board's final report says the boat's forward deck hatch cover was apparently unlatched, which allowed seawater to get in.

They concluded the company lacked a safety control system, which led to the accident.

Local coast guard investigators continue to question the firm's president.

Japan's Craft Inspection Organization reviewed its manual after the accident. It came up with new measures to strengthen its safety oversight, including dispatching more inspectors.