The Tokyo Reporter

Kagawa stand-up paddleboarder drowns

A man drowned while riding a paddleboard off the Yamada cost in Higashikagawa City
KAGAWA (TR) – A man drowned on Sunday after he was thrown off his surfboard while stand-up paddleboarding in waters off the Yamada coast.

Kagawa Prefectural Police said Hisao Yamamoto, 40, his eldest son, 7, and a classmate of the boy, 6, were riding a 3.4-meter-long surfboard between 100 and 150 meters off the Yamada coast in the Umashino area of Higashikagawa City at around 12:00 p.m. when the surfboard flipped and threw the three overboard into the sea, the Mainichi Shimbun reports (June 27).

Yamamoto was rushed to the hospital where he was confirmed dead. His son and his classmate suffered no injuries, according to police.

Police said they received an emergency call at around 12:35 p.m. saying people who were on their surfboard were drowning, according to the Sankei Shimbun.

The man and two boys were reportedly enjoying stand-up paddleboarding, and were at the shores as well as a nearby camping ground with two families since morning. Yamamoto’s son was the only one wearing a safety jacket.

The Sankei reported that swimming season had not officially started yet. Emergency responders and other men used fishing boats to reach the three individuals.

An investigation is under way to determine why the surfboard flipped and threw the three individuals off into the sea. There were no weather warnings posted at the time.

Stand-up paddleboarding has become popular in recent years.

Koichi Matsumoto, 47, secretary general of the Yaeyama SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) Association based in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, said, “Children can enjoy the sport, too, but I urge people to look after themselves by getting proper guidance and wearing life jackets.”

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