2 small U.S. Navy craft sink off Japan; no injuries
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December 16, 1996
Web posted at: 10:50 a.m. EST (1550 GMT)
(CNN) -- Two small U.S. Navy amphibious craft sank off
Okinawa in separate incidents on Monday. All 21 crew members
were rescued unharmed.
The two Light Amphibious Recovery Craft (LARC) were
conducting training exercises when they sank off Camp Schwab
on the Pacific coast of Okinawa, Japan's southernmost island.
The first ship developed a steering problem, a U.S. Navy
spokesman in Tokyo told CNN. Its crew transferred to the
second ship, which also sank after developing engine and
The crews were plucked out of the water by a rescue ship,
the USS Dubuque.
The sinking of the two amphibious craft came just as U.S. and
Japanese minesweepers started searching for an unexploded
bomb dropped in Okinawan waters by a U.S. Marine fighter-
The 1,000-pound (450 kg) bomb was jettisoned last Tuesday
during bombing training over the uninhabited Japanese island
An equipment jam on the F/A-18 made the pilot unable to drop
the bomb. Instead of landing at the Kadena Air Base in
Okinawa with the live bomb still attached to the wing, the
pilot was ordered to jettison the entire bomb rack into the
East China Sea six miles (10 km) west of the Okinawa port of
It took the U.S. military six hours to notify the Japanese
Foreign Ministry, the ministry said.
On Monday, Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota said the United States
still has not apologized to Okinawa for the lost bomb.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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