A fisheries high school in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, held a memorial service on Monday to mark the 19th anniversary of a fatal collision between one of its training boats and a U.S. nuclear submarine off Hawaii that claimed nine lives.
About 280 people including students and relatives of the victims gathered in a gymnasium and observed a moment of silence at 8:43 a.m., the exact time when the accident took place, while a bell retrieved from the sunken boat Ehime Maru tolled nine times for the nine victims at Uwajima Fisheries High School. Students then placed flowers at a monument to the victims.
The accident occurred on Feb 9, 2001 in waters off Hawaii's Oahu Island when the 6,080-ton submarine Greenville burst to the surface. The submarine's rudder sliced into the ship's hull.
The 499-ton training boat sank. Four of the 13 students aboard, two teachers and three crew members died.
A U.S. Navy investigation found the Greenville's captain had rushed through mandatory safety procedures while demonstrating an emergency surfacing drill for the benefit of civilians touring the submarine.
The report said the captain didn't want the submarine to be late returning to Pearl Harbor with the 16 guests.
The Navy uses the Ehime Maru accident as a case study to teach prospective submarine officers what not to do.© Japan Today