U.S. Submarine Sinks Japanese Fishing Vessel (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: When the U.S. nuclear submarine Greenville accidentally struck and sank the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru off Hawaii, killing nine Japanese nationals, Navy policies were questioned and U.S.-Japanese relations were strained. Ironically, another U.S. naval vessel had sunk another Japanese ship—also named Ehime Maru—in the Pacific in the late 1940’s.
Tragedy at Sea
On the morning of February 9, 2001, Captain Scott Waddle, commander of the submarine USS Greenville, got his vessel underway. Along with the crew the sub carried sixteen distinguished civilian passengers. Waddle was under orders to demonstrate the capabilities of the Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine and her crew. The U.S. military had engaged in such “incentive rides” for several years, allowing dignitaries, political contributors and public figures to fly, sail and dive in America’s most advanced vessels. On this trip, however, something went terribly wrong. The submarine was beginning to surface rapidly in a main ballast blow—a maneuver designed to simulate surfacing in emergency conditions. On this occasion the Greenville struck the Japanese fishing vessel Ehime Maru, which sank within ten minutes.
One of several fishing vessels owned by the Uwajima Fisheries High School, the Ehime Maru carried thirty-five students, instructors and crew. It was one of more than forty...
(The entire section is 1024 words.)
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