MATSUYAMA, Ehime Pref. (Kyodo) A memorial service was held Wednesday to mark the ninth anniversary of the fatal collision between a fisheries high school training ship and a U.S. submarine off Hawaii.
About 310 people, including relatives of the nine people killed in the accident, attended the ceremony at Uwajima Fisheries High School in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.
A bell recovered from the sunken Ehime Maru was tolled nine times for the nine victims at 8:43 a.m., or 1:43 p.m. Hawaii time, when the 499-ton vessel was struck from below by the 6,080-ton USS Greeneville as it made a rapid ascent.
“Even after nine years, I still look for my child when I see (students in) uniforms. I cannot forget,” said a tearful Miyako Sakashima, 53, whose son, Toshiya, 17, was killed in the accident.
In Honolulu, some 60 people, including relatives of victims and local representatives, held a memorial ceremony in a park.
The sinking claimed the lives of four trainees, three crew members and two instructors.
“It feels like time has stopped when I stand here,” said Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, 57, who lost his 17-year-old son, Takeshi. “I am relieved to know that the landscapes around here and the wind have not changed.”
Takeshi Mizuguchi was the only victim whose body was never found.