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Monday, January 28, 2002



Ill-fated sub hits
another vessel

There are no injuries as the
Greeneville is in a third mishap


From staff and wire reports

WASHINGTON >> The USS Greeneville, the Pearl Harbor-based nuclear submarine involved in the deadly collision with the Japanese trawler Ehime Maru last year, collided with an amphibious transport ship in the Arabian Sea yesterday. No injuries were reported.

Yesterday's collision happened as the ships were preparing to transfer two sailors, Pentagon officials said today. It punctured the fuel tank of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ogden and caused some damage to the USS Greeneville, the officials said.

The Greeneville collided with the Japanese fishery training vessel off Hawaii on Feb. 9, killing nine people on the Ehime Maru. And on its first major deployment after that accident, the Greeneville grounded while trying to enter the Saipan seaport in rough seas in August.

Following an unprecedented Court of Inquiry last year into the collision between the Greeneville and the Ehime Maru, Cmdr. Scott Waddle was stripped of his command, reprimanded but allowed to retire in October with his full pension.

Seven months later, Cmdr. David Bogdan, who assumed command of the Greeneville after Waddle, was taken before an admiral's mast, along with several of his officers. They were given letters of reprimand for grounding the 362-foot nuclear attack submarine in the channel leading into the Saipan Harbor on Aug. 27.

Bogdan was then relieved of command of the Greeneville. His executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer, who also was second in command when the Greeneville collided with the Ehime Maru Feb. 9, also received a letter of reprimand.

However, Navy officials today said that Pfeifer was not part of the Greeneville's current crew, led by Cmdr. Lindsay Henkins.

Cmdr. William Edwards was identified by the Pentagon as the captain of the USS Ogden.

Initial reports from the scene of yesterday's accident said the Greeneville was on the surface about 40 miles off the coast of Oman in the Northern Arabian Sea.

"Both ships continue to operate safely," said Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke.

The vessels were operating in support of the war in Afghanistan, Clarke said. The submarine was to continue on its planned journey to the island of Diego Garcia and will receive an underwater assessment of its damage there, Clarke said.

"What went wrong, we don't know," Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon briefing.

The rear portions of the ships touched, he said.

Stufflebeem said the Ogden would remain on station in the northern Arabian Sea and repairs might be made at sea. Divers have gone over the side to assess the damage, he said.

As a precaution, the submarine remained on the surface while traveling to Diego Garcia, the admiral said.

One Navy officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the weather conditions were described as windy at the time of the incident.

The collision occurred at 9:55 a.m. local time yesterday, said the officer.

At the time of the accident, two sailors from the sub were being transferred because of deaths in their families. They had been granted emergency leaves, the officer said.

The men were supposed to have been placed on a small boat from the Ogden and taken to the larger ship, but the transfer had not yet taken place at the time of the accident. Because of the collision, the transfer never took place.

The collision made a 5-inch-by-18-inch puncture in one of the Ogden's fuel tanks 15 feet below the water line on its right side. Several thousand gallons of light diesel fuel leaked into the sea, the officer said.

Because of windy conditions, the fuel headed away from shore and toward the open sea, the officer said.

The Greeneville's stern plane was damaged. That part of the submarine rear acts as a wing to control the angle of the ship's movement.

An investigation of the incident is under way, the Navy officer said.

------

The Associated Press and Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg K. Kakesako contributed to this report.

There are no injuries as the Greeneville is in a third mishap

From staff and wire reports

WASHINGTON >> The USS Greeneville, the Pearl Harbor-based nuclear submarine involved in the deadly collision with the Japanese trawler Ehime Maru last year, collided with an amphibious transport ship in the Arabian Sea yesterday. No injuries were reported.

Yesterday's collision happened as the ships were preparing to transfer two sailors, Pentagon officials said today. It punctured the fuel tank of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Ogden and caused some damage to the USS Greeneville, the officials said.

The Greeneville collided with the Japanese fishery training vessel off Hawaii on Feb. 9, killing nine people on the Ehime Maru. And on its first major deployment after that accident, the Greeneville grounded while trying to enter the Saipan seaport in rough seas in August.

Following an unprecedented Court of Inquiry last year into the collision between the Greeneville and the Ehime Maru, Cmdr. Scott Waddle was stripped of his command, reprimanded but allowed to retire in October with his full pension.

Seven months later, Cmdr. David Bogdan, who assumed command of the Greeneville after Waddle, was taken before an admiral's mast, along with several of his officers. They were given letters of reprimand for grounding the 362-foot nuclear attack submarine in the channel leading into the Saipan Harbor on Aug. 27.

Bogdan was then relieved of command of the Greeneville. His executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer, who also was second in command when the Greeneville collided with the Ehime Maru Feb. 9, also received a letter of reprimand.

However, Navy officials today said that Pfeifer was not part of the Greeneville's current crew, led by Cmdr. Lindsay Henkins.

Cmdr. William Edwards was identified by the Pentagon as the captain of the USS Ogden.

Initial reports from the scene of yesterday's accident said the Greeneville was on the surface about 40 miles off the coast of Oman in the Northern Arabian Sea.

"Both ships continue to operate safely," said Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke.

The vessels were operating in support of the war in Afghanistan, Clarke said. The submarine was to continue on its planned journey to the island of Diego Garcia and will receive an underwater assessment of its damage there, Clarke said.

"What went wrong, we don't know," Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon briefing.

The rear portions of the ships touched, he said.

Stufflebeem said the Ogden would remain on station in the northern Arabian Sea and repairs might be made at sea. Divers have gone over the side to assess the damage, he said.

As a precaution, the submarine remained on the surface while traveling to Diego Garcia, the admiral said.

One Navy officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the weather conditions were described as windy at the time of the incident.

The collision occurred at 9:55 a.m. local time yesterday, said the officer.

At the time of the accident, two sailors from the sub were being transferred because of deaths in their families. They had been granted emergency leaves, the officer said.

The men were supposed to have been placed on a small boat from the Ogden and taken to the larger ship, but the transfer had not yet taken place at the time of the accident. Because of the collision, the transfer never took place.

The collision made a 5-inch-by-18-inch puncture in one of the Ogden's fuel tanks 15 feet below the water line on its right side. Several thousand gallons of light diesel fuel leaked into the sea, the officer said.

Because of windy conditions, the fuel headed away from shore and toward the open sea, the officer said.

The Greeneville's stern plane was damaged. That part of the submarine rear acts as a wing to control the angle of the ship's movement.

An investigation of the incident is under way, the Navy officer said.


The Associated Press and Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg K. Kakesako contributed to this report.



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