HONOLULU – The new Ehime Maru, built to replace the old fisheries training ship of the same name that sank in a collision with a surfacing U.S. submarine in February 2001, left Honolulu for home Saturday.
The ship is expected to arrive at Ehime Prefecture’s Uwajima port on July 6. Daisuke Shinoto, 19, who was one of the students aboard the old Ehime Maru and rescued after the accident, was on board the new boat.
The new Ehime Maru left Uwajima port on May 7 for a two-month training mission involving 14 Uwajima Fisheries High School students, two teachers and 20 crew members. It is the first time they are engaging in a long-distance voyage. They docked at Honolulu for refueling Tuesday.
They also visited the Ehime Maru monument in Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, and mingled with local high school students who have been taking care of the monument.
Ten people, including locals of Japanese descent, who had looked after them while they were there, came to send them off.
The new Ehime Maru, at 499 tons, has the same tonnage as its ill-fated namesake, which sank on Feb. 9, 2001, when it was struck from below by the USS Greeneville. The sub was performing a rapid-surfacing drill.
Five sailors and four students died in the accident, while 26 others were rescued.
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