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Service marks 19th anniversary of Ehime Maru collision with U.S. sub

12 Comments

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.

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12 Comments
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Rest in Peace. I hope the US Navy captain served prison time for his recklessness which killed innocent people.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

why should he serve prison time? He was in US waters, doing routine drills. The Japanese were there as guest.

What were they doing in US waters to begin with?

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

@TheLongTermer

He was not doing routine drills, according to the article he just did not want to be late returning to Pearl Harbor. He surfaced suddenly without warning and without checking for other shipping so of course he should go to prison. It is no different to speeding in a car and not looking where you're going.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

A very tragic incident. RIP to the dead.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

why should he serve prison time? He was in US waters, doing routine drills.

No he wasn't. He was showing off to a bunch of VIPs on board.

the Greenville's captain had rushed through mandatory safety procedures while demonstrating an emergency surfacing drill for the benefit of civilians touring the submarine.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

why should he serve prison time?

His negligence lead to the deaths of nine people.

The Japanese were there as guest.

Manslaughter isn't excusable if the victims are foreign.

What were they doing in US waters to begin with?

Training.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

RIP. A very sad and tragic accident.

The "civilian guests" on the ship were American oil executives and their wives. According to this news report one of the oil executives was actually at the controls when the accident happened:

http://www.emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/sink.htm

As if that weren't bad enough, the Japanese Prime Minister at the time, Yoshiro Mori, actually carried on with his round of golf after being given the news while on a golf course.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Wikipedia article has the full story: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehime_Maru_and_USS_Greeneville_collision

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@TheLongTermer

What were they doing in US waters to begin with?

So, it was the victim's fault? What a compassionate soul and a logic mind you have!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Captain Waddle only went to Admiral's mast (non-judicial punishment) and got slaps on the wrist and was allowed to resign his commission. He went on to start his own business as a consultant and public speaker.

He received no proper punishment for his reckless actions which resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians. And then people criticize Japan for its judicial system.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Thank you cla68. It was sad for all involved.

"The Navy compensated the government of Ehime Prefecture, Ehime Maru's survivors, and victims' family members for the accident. Waddle traveled to Japan in December 2002 to apologize to the ship's survivors and victims' families." - Wikipedia

Nothing will ever replace the loss of precious lives but at least Waddle faced up to it and traveled to meet the families.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

According to this news report one of the oil executives was actually at the controls when the accident happened:

This is irrelevant as you're only going one direction during an emergency ascent and that's "up". Due to the rushed preparations by the captain, they would have hit the boat no matter who was sitting at the wheel. VIP visitors are regularly allowed to 'take the controls' but they would never be allowed to do anything themselves that would endanger the sub.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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