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Victims’ Families Remember Sub Collision

February 10, 2006

HONOLULU (AP) _ The families of three people killed when a Navy submarine collided with a Japanese fishing boat five years ago gathered at a park overlooking the Pacific and draped lei at a memorial honoring the nine victims.

Loved ones bowed their heads for a moment of silence at 1:43 p.m. Thursday, the same time the USS Greeneville hit the Ehime Maru on Feb. 9, 2001.

``It’s been five years, but it feels like it was yesterday,″ Takako Segawa, the daughter of the boat’s radio operator, said at a brief ceremony at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park. ``I feel like maybe he’s just at sea and he’ll come home.″

The victims’ families tossed flower petals and chocolate into the ocean in an offering to Takeshi Mizuguchi, the only one of the nine whose body was not found.

``My son never came home, so I want to be as close to him as possible,″ said Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, who has visited Hawaii 15 times since the collision that happened about 13 miles off Oahu.

Mizuguchi’s 17-year-old son, Takeshi, had boarded the Ehime Maru along with 34 other students and instructors from Uwajima Fisheries High School for a training mission on how to fish.

A Navy investigation concluded the Greeneville hit the Ehime Maru after the submarine’s captain failed to properly use sonar and periscopes to look for nearby ships before surfacing.

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