• Kyodo


The U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry into the Feb. 9 collision between a Japanese fisheries training ship and a U.S. submarine off Hawaii will submit a final report to the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on Saturday, navy sources said Tuesday.

Vice Adm. John Nathman, president of the court, is scheduled to submit the report to Adm. Thomas Fargo after talks with him at a U.S. Navy base in San Diego, the sources said.

The report will recommend whether Cmdr. Scott Waddle, captain of the sub USS Greeneville at the time of the accident, and two other officers should be court-martialed over the collision with the Ehime Maru. Nine people aboard the Japanese vessel were lost at sea.

In addition to Nathman, Rear Adm. Paul Sullivan and Rear Adm. David Stone, who are members of the court, as well as adviser and nonvoting member Rear Adm. Isamu Ozawa of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, will also meet with Fargo on Saturday, sources close to the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Nathman and other members of the inquiry are expected to reach a conclusion after considering 12 days of hearings held between March 5 and 20 in Honolulu.

The court looked into the liability of Waddle; Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer, the sub’s executive officer; and Lt. j.g. Michael Coen, the officer of the deck at the time of the accident.

After receiving the report, Fargo will determine within about 30 days what action to take against the three, which could range from nonjudicial punishment to courts-martial.

The report will not be made public.

Nine Japanese, including four teenage students and two teachers, were lost when the 6,080-ton submarine hit their 499-ton training ship during a rapid surfacing maneuver. The ship belonged to Uwajima Fisheries High School in Ehime Prefecture.

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