Navy divers enter water, begin initial survey of Ehime Maru’s exterior


U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
Oct. 15, 2001


Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Oct. 15, the first team of two scuba divers from the Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One entered the water at the shallow-water recovery site to thoroughly survey Ehime Maru’s exterior to ensure the ship is stable and identify any potential hazards.

A second team of two divers were to install two inclinometers -- devices to measure the ship’s incline. One inclinometer was to be placed on Ehime Maru’s fo’c’sle to measure how much the ship tilts to the left or right. The second was to be installed at the vessel’s center point to measure whether it tilts toward the bow or stern. The second team also was to install ladders off Ehime Maru’s port side for surface-supplied divers to use once they begin diving. They also were to attach marker buoys to Ehime Maru to identify the position of the ship’s bow and stern on the surface.

Surface supplied diving is expected to begin 24 hours following these initial dives to clear hazards and obstructions from the ship’s exterior.

At 3:22 p.m. Oct. 14, Rockwater 2 successfully set Ehime Maru down in 115 feet of water at the shallow-water recovery site about 1 mile south of Honolulu International Airport’s Reef Runway. On the morning of Oct. 15, the Navy moved the Crowley 450-10 diving support barge into a six-point moor over Ehime Maru. The scuba divers entered the water 24 hours after Ehime Maru first was set down to ensure the ship was resting solidly on the bottom.

A background brief for media is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Plumeria Room of the Best Western The Plaza Hotel, 3253 N. Nimitz Hwy.
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Revised 10/15/01 at 5:01 p.m. (HST)