3 US Airmen Washed Out to Sea by Typhoon

A powerful typhoon roared through southern Japan on Sunday, creating big, dangerous waves that carried three US airmen out to sea from their post at Kadena Air Base. One of three airmen was pulled from the sea by the Japanese coast guard and pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other two remain missing as rough seas complicate any rescue efforts.

Watch raw footage of Typhoon Phanfone:

The airmen had been on Okinawa island’s northern coast when they were overcome by waves. Their names are being withheld pending notification of relatives. About half of the 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan are in Okinawa.

Okinawa is circled (Google Maps)

Okinawa is circled. (Google Maps)

By late Sunday, Typhoon Phanfone was located off the coast of Shikoku in southwestern Japan, with 90 MPH winds, after hitting Okinawa and Kyushu. Several people were reportedly injured by the typhoon on Kyushu Island. The storm has also triggered concern of possible landslides on the ash-covered volcano that recently erupted. The center of the storm is forecast to hit Tokyo this afternoon.

Typhoon Phanfone waves. Alex Williams (Flickr)

Typhoon Phanfone waves. Alex Williams (Flickr)

WeatherBug hopes for the a speedy rescue of the remaining airmen. Our thoughts are with their friends and family.


Be Prepared. Know Before™.

The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team

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This entry was posted in Safety.