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Images of Sunken Vessel Recorded

November 27, 2001

HONOLULU (AP) _ Among the items the Navy recovered in its search of the sunken Ehime Maru was a digital camera containing the last images of students aboard the Japanese fishing vessel that was sunk by a collision with a U.S. submarine.

The camera belonged to 17-year-old Takeshi Mizuguchi, the only one of the nine victims whose body was not recovered from the sunken ship. Among the images are shots of Mizuguchi on his birthday on Feb. 7, two days before his death.

The boy’s father, Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, said that he was amazed that the images were still visible after the camera lay underwater for more than eight months.

``It’s a gift for us,″ he told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

The Ehime Maru sank Feb. 9 after being rammed by the USS Greeneville while the nuclear-powered submarine was demonstrating a rapid-surfacing drill near Hawaii. Nine men and teen-age boys aboard the ship were killed, while 26 others were rescued.

The wreckage was moved from the accident site to shallow water, where divers recovered eight bodies last month. The body of Mizuguchi remained missing when the search was called off Nov. 15.

The vessel was relocated Sunday to its final resting site in deep water.

Along with the digital images of his son, Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi said: ``We have memories of our son that will live within us for a long time.″

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