17 years ago, 9 died when USS Greenville plowed into Japanese fishing vessel

Published: Feb. 9, 2018 at 11:12 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2018 at 8:44 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seventeen years ago Friday, nine Uwajima High School students and instructors died when the USS Greeneville submarine collided with their fishing training ship, Ehime Maru.

The small high school fishing crew was conducting training exercises off of Oahu's shores when the USS Greeneville launched out of the water, causing the boat to sink immediately and taking the lives of several students, instructors and crew members with it.

According to Greenville crew members, the tragedy was blamed on the presence of several civilians on board the submarine during a rapid surfacing drill. Crew members became distracted with entertaining guests and botched the drill schedule.

Scott Waddle, the Navy commander of the USS Greeneville submarine at the time, was investigated following the incident and given a honorable discharge.

Last year, a memorial ceremony was held commemorating the sixteenth year since the tragedy.

The ceremony served to honor the lives lost in the 2001 tragedy and promote Hawaii-Japan relations. The previous memorial ceremony had been held in 2013 due to the Buddhist tradition that memorials are only had in years ending with three or seven.

The memorial to the Ehime Maru is located at Kakaako Waterfront Park.

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