Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Ehime Maru sinking

Navy to brief Japan
on salvaging ship

Officials will discuss plans
to raise the sunken Ehime Maru

Kyodo News Service

MATSUYAMA, Japan >> U.S. Navy officials will visit Uwajima in Ehime Prefecture on Saturday to brief victims of a February collision between a Japanese fisheries training ship and a U.S. submarine on a plan to salvage the ship Ehime Maru, the Ehime prefectural government said today.

Ehime officials said nine officers, including the commander of the U.S. Navy in Japan Rear Adm. Robert Chaplin, will speak about the results of an environment impact assessment on the salvage plan expected to be completed by Friday and actual procedures for raising the Ehime Maru.

The Navy officers will also report to Ehime government officials on the U.S. salvage plan, they said.

The 499-ton Ehime Maru of the Uwajima Fisheries High School in the western Japan prefecture was sunk by the 6,080-ton nuclear-powered submarine Greeneville off Hawaii and is sitting on the ocean floor at a depth of 600 meters.

Of 35 people aboard the ship, nine including four teenagers and two teachers are believed entombed in the wreck.

U.S. authorities plan to start salvage work on the Ehime Maru by the end of June and complete recovery work of the missing bodies in August, according to a Navy source.

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