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The WESTPAC Express, a catamaran-shaped high-speed vessel, stopped at Sasebo Naval Base on Friday because of rough seas caused by Typhoon Kirogi, expected to pass east of Tokyo.
The WESTPAC Express, a catamaran-shaped high-speed vessel, stopped at Sasebo Naval Base on Friday because of rough seas caused by Typhoon Kirogi, expected to pass east of Tokyo. (Greg Tyler / S&S)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The WESTPAC Express — a catamaran-shaped high-speed vessel en route to an exercise — stopped Friday at Sasebo Naval Base because of a typhoon moving to the northeast along Japan’s eastern coast.

The 300 to 400 Marines on board were on their way to participate in annual training at Camp Fuji, but they stopped in Sasebo because of rough seas caused by Typhoon Kirogi, said Marine Corps spokesman Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Albrecht.

The Marines are from the 12th Marines assigned to 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa.

The typhoon is expected to pass east of Tokyo this week, moving within 123 miles of Yokosuka Naval Base late Wednesday morning. Predictions indicate possible sustained winds of 75 mph with gusts up to 92 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

As of Monday afternoon, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Japan, hadn’t issued any tropical cyclone conditions of readiness, a CNFJ spokesman said.

The Marines are living on the berthing barge USS Mercer along with crewmembers of the USS Harpers Ferry, which is undergoing scheduled maintenance.

Albrecht said they would remain in Sasebo until the conditions at sea improve.

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