Statement to Ehime Maru families
Statement made by Pacific Fleet representative at a meeting of Ehime Maru families
11 Feb 2001 - 2:30 p.m. HST
"While it is not yet clear how this accident occurred, it is tragic and regrettable. We have a full investigation already started and we will determine the facts.
USS Greeneville (SSN 772) was returning to port February 9 after one day of routine training. Ehime Maru left Honolulu Harbor at about 12:30 p.m. At approximately 1:50 p.m., the ship was conducting an emergency surfacing procedure for the purpose of training.
While surfacing, it collided with the Ehime Maru. Within approximately five minutes, and as soon as the submarine could determine what happened, the submarine reported the incident to the search and rescue center. The submarine remained in the immediate area, but was unable to take survivors on board due to the hazardous sea conditions.
To attempt to bring the submarine close to the rafts and to attempt a transfer of people to the submarine would have increased the danger to those in the rafts. Additionally, professional U.S. Coast Guard rescue services were immediately headed for the accident site.
The U.S. Navy has provided maximum support to the search and rescue effort. In addition to the submarine, the Navy ships USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and USS Salvor (ARS 52), two smaller vessels, and helicopters and patrol aircraft were involved.
For more information, visit Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.