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Saturday, February 24, 2001

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
A bell-ringing ceremony yesterday at the Nagasaki Peace
Bell on the grounds of Honolulu Hale honored those
missing in the Ehime Maru tragedy and their families.

Bell’s toll
honors missing

By Harold Morse

Bullet Restrictions affect isles
Bullet Civilians' host in probe
Bullet Waddle on sea traffic

The Nagasaki Peace Bell rang once for each of the nine missing in the sinking of the Ehime Maru.

As part of the remembrance, a white pigeon was released, Buddhist chants were spoken and incense was burned on the mauka side of the City Hall grounds yesterday.

Marsha Joyner, president of the Martin Luther King Holiday Coalition, recalled the bell was a gift to Honolulu from survivors of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki as a gesture of reconciliation in observance that Honolulu had experienced the Pearl Harbor attack.

"It was first rung on Dec. 7, 1990, and has been used ever since by the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday Coalition and other organizations," she said.

Bishop Chikai Yosemori, Honpa Hongwanji, Mission of Hawaii, and president of the Hawaii Buddhist Council, said: "We must continue a thorough investigation to learn the cause."

He expressed sympathy to family and friends of the missing and called for measures to see such a tragedy never recurs. This would mean the sacrifice was not in vain, he said.

Nick Houtman, executive assistant to the mayor, read a message from Jeremy Harris: "Each year for the past seven, I've been visited by the crew and students of the Ehime Maru upon completion of the Honolulu work/study trip. The young fishermen were always excited by what they had learned in Hawaii's waters and eager to embark upon a life at sea. ...

"I didn't have the pleasure of this annual visit this year because tragedy cut short their voyage."

The late afternoon ceremony was attended by about 60 people. The ceremony lasted a little more than 30 minutes.

A number of those who took part pulled a rope to ring the bell at the end.

Effects of sub’s
sinking echo
throughout isles

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Forty Department of Education Hawaiian studies teachers had to hike into Makua Valley today rather than hitch a ride on an Army truck or humvee.

Bumping civilian visitors from a military vehicle was just one of the immediate effects of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's order Thursday stemming from the Feb. 9 collision between the U.S. submarine Greeneville and the Japanese training ship Ehime Maru.

Meanwhile, the Navy announced that Adm. William J. Fallon, vice chief of naval operations, will travel to Tokyo next week. He will offer apologies on behalf of the U.S. government, the U.S. Navy and the American people.

Fallon also will discuss the salvage operations involving two deep-diving Navy drones now charting the area where the Ehime Maru sits upright and intact in 2,003 feet of water.

Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Pentagon spokesman, said the bottom survey is going to take several more days.

"The goal is to get about a six-square-mile area around the vessel mapped as accurately as we can make it, and the process is going to take several more days yet."

The two remotely operated vehicles -- Scorpio II and Deep Drone -- and side-scan sonars will develop a bottom relief map showing the type of bottom, any topographical features in the vicinity of the vessel, any debris on the bottom."

That map would be helpful to a salvage company, he said.

The Scorpio was forced to return to Pearl Harbor yesterday for repairs and will return to the search area once those are completed.

Rumsfeld's memorandum bans civilian visitors from operating any type of military equipment when "such operation could cause, or reasonably be perceived as causing, an increased safety risk."

It also covers the National Guard, the defense secretary said, although "it is not designed to restrict civilian visitors from observing their military; it is designed to ensure their visits are conducted as safely as possible."

The Ehime Maru sank within 10 minutes after being struck by the USS Greeneville, nine miles south of Diamond Head. Twenty-six crewmen and passengers were rescued. Nine are still missing.

Sixteen civilians were guests of the Greeneville on what was supposed to be a daylong cruise. Two were in key control positions when the Greeneville performed an emergency surfacing maneuver. A Greeneville sailor said civilians distracted him and prevented him from plotting the movement of ships on the surface.

The military here said Rumsfeld's moratorium will not have a major impact on its programs designed to educate the civilian population on what it does.

Quigley, Rumsfeld's spokesman, said that while it is important to have citizens come out and take a look at what their armed forces do on a daily basis, the issue is to review what controls are in place.

Navy widens probe,
adds civilians’ host

Star-Bulletin news services

The U.S. Navy's official inquiry into the collision of a U.S. submarine and a Japanese fishing trawler will be expanded to include a fourth officer, the host of the civilian guests who were on board when the accident occurred, the Washington Times reported today.

When the Court of Inquiry was announced last week, the Navy said the captain and two other officers on the USS Greeneville would be subjects of the hearing. But the Times reported the officer who hosted the civilians also will come under scrutiny.

The newspaper said Rear Adm. Albert Konetzni, Jr., commander of the Pacific submarine force, wants his chief of staff scrutinized by the court, which will decide whether the officers will face disciplinary action.

The chief of staff, Capt. Bob Brandhuber, was the host of 16 civilians who were on board when the attack sub conducted an emergency surfacing drill and slammed into the Ehime Maru.

Konetzni asked the court to determine whether Brandhuber should have intervened to correct crew errors, the Times said.

"While I do not believe Capt. Brandhuber should be named as a party, I must also recommend that the board address whether Capt. Brandhuber -- as the senior officer on board USS Greeneville -- should have intervened to prevent the causal chain of this event," Konetzni wrote in a letter to the Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Thomas Fargo.

In Japan, the captain of the fishing boat repeated his demand for an apology from the Navy submarine's commander. Arriving from Hawaii today, Hisao Onishi said he was devastated to return to Japan without knowing what had become of the nine people from the Ehime Maru who are still missing and presumed dead.

"As the captain of the ship ... it broke my heart to have to leave behind the missing," he said during a news conference in southwestern Japan.

Onishi demanded a personal apology from the Greeneville's captain, Cmdr. Scott Waddle, who has not made any public remarks in the aftermath of the collision.

Adm. William J. Fallon, the vice chief of naval operations, was named "special envoy to Japan" and will go to Tokyo next week with a letter and apology from President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

Believing that the bodies of the nine missing Japanese are inside the Ehime Maru, Onishi is pressing U.S. and Japanese authorities to salvage the vessel at all costs.

The U.S. Navy has sent deep-sea robots to the ocean floor 2,000 feet down to see if and how the 500-ton Ehime Maru can be raised.

U.S. officials say reports of serious crew errors aboard the sub right before the collision raised the possibility that the Navy's formal investigation could also include a sailor whose job was to plot positions of nearby vessels.

The enlisted man, the sub's "fire control technician," did not inform the skipper that sonar readings indicated a surface vessel was closing to within 2,000 yards.

Captain likened
sub maneuvers to
freeway driving

Kyodo News Service

WASHINGTON -- Surfacing submarines is always a dangerous task, Cmdr. Scott Waddle, skipper of the U.S. submarine Greeneville, said two weeks before his submarine collided with the Ehime Maru.

NBC TV aired part of an interview Travel Channel made with Waddle for a special program on Pearl Harbor, which was broadcast before the Feb. 9 accident.

Maneuvering a submarine is like "driving on the freeway. It's just like knowing who's around you -- who's in front, behind, to your left and right," Waddle said. "We do so in a third dimension because we have to change directions and the vertical motion."

Waddle said being the captain of a submarine is "without question the best job" in the Navy, he said.

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