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Tragedy at Sea


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U.S. Nuclear Sub Sinks Japanese Fishing Training Ship off of Diamond Head, Oahu
Tragedy at Sea

Ehime Maru - Official Photo

This feature was originally published on February 10, 2001

It's the lead story on news reports around the world. The nuclear submarine USS Greeneville struck and sunk the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel about ten miles off of Diamond Head, O'ahu on Friday, February 9, 2001.

The Ehime Maru was operated by the Uwajima Fisheries High School and used for training of students. The school is located in Uwajima, on the west coast of Japan’s southern island of Shikoku, about 420 miles from Tokyo.

There are currently 47 maritime schools in Japan, of which 33 offer long-distance maritime excursions as part of their core curriculum. The Uwajima Fisheries High School runs three trips a year to Hawaii, each lasting about two months. There are currently about twenty such ships in the waters of Hawaii.

While the ship refuels, the students get to sight-see and shop in Hawaii.

Nine members of the 35 member crew of the Japanese training vessel remain listed as missing and presumed dead. These include four teenagers, two instructors and three crewmen.

In addition 12 students and crew of the Japanese ship were hospitalized as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

The USS Greeneville was practicing an emergency surfacing procedure known as "emergency main ballast blow" at the time of the incident.

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