Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 15 Issue 04

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Volume 15, No. 4
Pages 30 - 34


A Case Study in Applied Oceanography: The Lifting and Moving of the Ehime Maru

William H. Little
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At approximately 1:45 PM in the afternoon of February 9, 2001, a Los Angeles class submarine of the U.S. Navy, USS Greeneville, accidentally collided with the Japanese longline training and fishing vessel, Ehime Maru. The incident occurred approximately nine nautical miles south of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The 56 meter, 830 ton, Ehime Maru plunged to the ocean floor 650 meters below. Twenty-six of the 35 crewmembers were pulled from the sea by rescue teams, while the rest of the crew remained missing after several days of search and rescue operations. It was presumed they were trapped within the vessel or lost overboard as the Ehime Maru sunk. A few days later, after underwater submersibles were brought to the scene, it was discovered that no human remains were lying near the sunken hull. The probability increased that the lost crew were trapped inside.


Little, W.H. 2002. A case study in applied oceanography: The lifting and moving of the Ehime Maru. Oceanography 15(4):30–34, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2002.03.

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