They were found near the tip of Cape Shiretoko on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to the Coast Guard.
Four of the nine were found unconscious, according to the Coast Guard. The condition of the other five is unknown.
Authorities lost contact with the crew of the Kazu 1 boat on Saturday after the crew reported water pouring into the stern of the ship and causing it to sink, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said. The crew also said those on board were wearing life jackets and the boat was tailing at a 30-degree angle, NHK said.
There were 24 passengers, including two children, on board and two crew members, the broadcaster said.
According to the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s regional office, the sea temperature around the area where the boat is believed to have sunk was a frigid 35 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (just under 3 degrees Celsius).
No one was immediately available for comment from the Japanese Coast Guard outside normal office hours.
The Coast Guard was contacted by the ship around 1:15 PM (0415 GMT) and had dispatched five patrol boats and two aircraft, NHK said. Local media reported that waves in the area were up to three meters high when the boat made the distress call.
No one answered calls to the office of the company that organizes the Kazu 1 sightseeing tours. According to the homepage, the ship can accommodate 65 people. Tours around the Shiretoko area usually last about three hours, according to the travel agency.
The boat left the port of Utoro around 10 a.m. Saturday and was expected to return to port at 1 p.m., NHK said. The waves had been high and the fishing boats in the area had returned to harbor by mid-morning.
The tour boat had been in the area of the Shiretoko Peninsula, in the northern part of Japan’s northernmost island, and would have been near Kashinu Falls, NHK said.