SS 403

Atule after conversion to a Guppy
Nov. 1, 1944
Asama Maru
20.09N,  117.38E
Minesweeper # 38
21.21N,  119.45E
Patrol Boat # 38
20.12N,  121.51E
Santos Maru
17.33N,  120.21E
 Jan. 24, 1945
Taiman Maru #1
 36.47N,  123.29E
Aug. 13, 1945
Coast Def. Vessel #6
 42.11N,  142.14E
6 ships
Atule was sold to Peru on Sept. 30, 1974. She sank after a collision with a Japanese ship in 1988. She was salvaged for parts.
      USS Atule SS 403
August 28, 1988
Ashville Citizen-Times
The Associated Press
Lima, Peru -
A diving bell slowly carried 21 sailors to safety from a crippled submarine Saturday, one day after the vessel sank to the ocean floor after it was accidentally rammed by a Japanese fishing boat, officials said.
The accident on Friday killed four people and three other crewmembers still were missing, Peru's navy said in a statement.
The navy said earlier that 22 sailors wearing life preservers had been plucked from the Pacific Ocean as the vessel sank. But rescuers had struggled since late Friday to rescue sailors still trapped alive in the vessel after it sank in 96 feet of water near the port city of Callao.
Using a diving bell and retrieving officers two at a time, rescuers pulled 21 sailors from the submarine by late Saturday, officials said.
President Alan Garcia told reporters that three men were taken unconscious from the stricken vessel, and that they may have been overcome by fumes in the submarine. There was no word on their condition.
He said the three sailors still not accounted for could be in water-filled compartments of the vessel. Garcia spoke to reporters in his office after spending several hours at the accident site. The submarine Pacocha sank after being accidentally rammed Friday evening by the Japanese fishing ship No. 8 Kyowa-Maru near the Callao, the navy and the Japanese Embassy said.
The navy on Saturday had issued several conflicting figures on the number of men on board the ship, and the number believed missing and those feared trapped in the sunken vessel. It said that 52 crewmembers were believed on board when the collision occurred and said 45 were rescued. But the 22 crewmembers rescued Friday and the 21 rescued Saturday total 43, and there was no explanation given for the discrepancy.
Rescuers used a diving bell that connected to the hatch of the submarine and began bringing crewmembers to the surface from the submarine Saturday morning. Callao, Peru's largest port, is eight miles west of Lima. Port traffic was banned until Monday to facilitate rescue operations; the port authority said Saturday.
Comdr. Luyis Castro, a navy spokesman, said the 1,870-ton submarine, which was cruising on the surface toward the port, sank shortly after being rammed on the left stern side by the 412-ton, steel-hulled fishing boat.
There were no reported injuries on the fishing boat. A US Embassy spokesman who declined to be named said the U. S. navy was sending a special team and equipment aboard three C-141 transport planes to assist
the rescue operations. The equipment includes a diving bell designed for submarine rescues, the official said. The Peru navy did not describe the diving bell already used in the rescue. Garcia said Peru officials decided to mount their rescue after determining that it was too dangerous to wait for a special US Navy rescue drew to arrive Saturday night.
Sources close to the rescue said the trapped men were believed to have been in the forward part of the submarine and had sealed the section with hatch doors from the rest of the vessel, which is believed filled with water. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an airline running to the surface had been attached, giving survivors an unlimited supply of air.
The Peru navy said the submarine was purchased in 1974 from the US Government. The vessel, formerly USS Atule, was commissioned on June 21, 1944, according to Jane's Fighting Ships.
The submarine sank shortly after impact, Castro said, adding he did not know the extent of the damage to the craft.
Castro said divers working since 8pm Friday made contact with crewmen inside the sunken vessel.

The Callao port authority said the submarine was heading for the naval ship repair docks and the Japanese boat, carrying a crew of 21, was leaving port to fish when the accident occurred.
The Japanese boat, skippered by Tsukasa Ohkado, suffered some cracks on the bow, the Japanese Embassy said Saturday. The Japanese boat's crew are Japanese and the remaining five are Peruvians.

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