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Dale’s Daily Data: Sub Sinks Fishing Boat

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It was 10 years ago today that a U-S nuclear submarine collided with a Japanese fishing boat in of all places Pearl Harbor.  But the circumstances of how it happened are bizarre.  The crew of the submarine USS Greenville was hosting 16 civilians on board that day as part of the Distinguished Visitor program.  They were taken out for a ride and one of the final maneuvers was what’s called an Emergency Ballast Tank Blow that brings the submarine to the surface in a hurry.  One of the big problems was that some of the civilians were at the controls of the submarine and all of the procedures that were supposed to be done before surfacing weren’t done.  Among the things the crew failed to do was the pretty important matter of using the periscope to take a look around to make sure nothing was above them.  When the Greenville surfaced it sliced right thru the fishing boat sinking it within minutes.  9 people on the fishing boat drowned, including four high school  students on board as part of a school work training session. 

The navy decided against a court-martial, but the submarine commander was given a reprimand and was allowed to keep his rank and pension.

SOURCE: History Channel

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