Hong Kong has asked the tiny Central American state of Belize, where the Kien Hwa No 2 is registered, to launch an investigation. Local and Japanese marine authorities said they had no jurisdiction to probe events aboard the rusting vessel because it sailed under the Belize flag. 'This is an accident. He [jumped] in spite of rough seas,' said a Japanese Maritime Safety Agency spokesman. A coastguard ship had warned the ship over the radio to leave Japan's territorial waters, the spokesman said. Any action against Captain Ngai Lup-chee, if suggested by investigators, would have to be taken by Britain, which awarded his masters' licence, said department spokesman Patrick Wong Chi-man. Despite the nature of the ship's voyage, Mr Wong said the department had not kept in contact with it. There were too many vessels leaving Hong Kong every day to give special attention to the Kien Hwa No 2. Authorities had checked the validity of the vessel's safety certificates before clearing it to leave Hong Kong, he said.