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USS Greeneville (SSN 772) incident

USS Greeneville (SSN 772) incident

Statement by
Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Thomas B. Fargo

PEARL HARBOR, Feb. 10, 2001 -- At approximately 1:50 p.m. HST on 9 Feb. 2001, the United States submarine USS Greeneville (SSN 772) collided with the Japanese vessel "Ehime Maru" while conducting routine operations approximately 9 miles south of Diamond Head off Honolulu, Hawaii.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard began immediate rescue efforts for the crew and passengers on the Japanese vessel, and were able to recover 26 of the 35 reported crewmembers and passengers. Both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard continue to perform Search and Rescue operations for the missing.

Department of Defense officials have been in close contact with the Government of Japan throughout the rescue efforts, and will continue to cooperate as we pursue rescue and recovery operations. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Pacific Command are working with the Japanese Consulate in Hawaii to ensure medical care, lodging and transportation to Japan are provided the survivors of the "Ehime Maru".

While it is not yet clear how this accident occurred, it is tragic and regrettable. I want to express my apologies to those involved in the incident, their families and the Government of Japan.

We have operating procedures to ensure the safety of evolutions such as surfacing a submarine, and we want to know what happened.

The Navy will initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding yesterday's incident, and determine the facts. Rear Adm. Charles Griffiths Jr., Commander Submarine Group 9, has been designated the investigating officer.

Finally I want to again express my deepest sympathy to those who have loved ones missing. And we are working closely with Japanese officials here in Hawaii to provide assistance for the rescued crewmembers.

For more information, visit Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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Revised: 2/10/01