Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision


Ehime Maru and USS Greeneville collision

infobox generic | color = #cc9999
name = "Ehime Maru" and USS "Greeneville" collision
sub0 =
img1 = EhimeMaru.jpg
width1 = 325px
cap1 = The Japanese high-school fishing training ship "Ehime Maru"
lbl1 = Date:
row1 = February 9, 2001
lbl2 = Place:
row2 = off Oahu, Hawaii, USA
lbl3 = Cause:
row3 = Ship collision
lbl4 = Result:
row4 = "Ehime Maru" sunk,
9 "Ehime Maru" crewmembers killed,
( including 4 high school students )
USS "Greeneville" damaged
style21 = style="text-align:center;"
The "Ehime Maru" and USS "Greeneville" collision was a ship collision between the United States Navy submarine USS "Greeneville" (SSN-772) and the Japanese fishing training ship "Ehime Maru" (えひめ丸) on February 9, 2001, about convert|9|nmi|km|0 off the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii, USA. In a demonstration for some civilian visitors, "Greeneville" performed an emergency surfacing maneuver. As the submarine surfaced, it struck "Ehime Maru", a high-school fishing training ship from Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Within minutes of the collision, "Ehime Maru" sank. Nine of its crewmembers were killed, including four high school students.

Many Japanese, including government officials, were concerned over news that civilians were present in "Greeneville"'s control room at the time of the accident. Some expressed anger because of a perception that the submarine did not try to assist "Ehime Maru"'s survivors and that the submarine's captain, Scott Waddle, did not apologize immediately afterwards. The United States Navy (USN) conducted a public court of inquiry, placed blame on Waddle and other members of "Greeneville"'s crew, and dealt nonjudicial punishment or administrative disciplinary action to the captain and some crew members.

In response to requests from the families of "Ehime Maru"'s victims and the government of Japan, the USN raised "Ehime Maru" from the ocean floor in October 2001 and moved it to shallow water near Oahu. Once there, Navy and Japanese divers located and retrieved the remains of eight of the nine victims from the wreck. "Ehime Maru" was then moved back out to sea and scuttled in deep water. The Navy compensated the government of Ehime Prefecture, "Ehime Maru"'s survivors, and victims' family members for the accident. Waddle traveled to Japan in December 2002 to apologize to the ship's survivors and victims' families.

The accident renewed calls by many in Japan for the United States to make more effort to reduce or eliminate crimes and accidents involving U.S. military personnel who injure or kill Japanese citizens. In response to the accident, the Navy changed its policies regarding civilian visits to its ships.

Incident

Prelude

On January 10, 2001, the "Ehime Maru", a Japanese fishing trawler owned by the government of Ehime Prefecture, convert|191|ft|m|0 in length and weighing about 500 tons (500,000 kg), departed from Uwajima Fishery High School, a secondary school in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The ship, captained by Hisao Ōnishi, headed for Hawaii on a planned 74-day voyage to train high school students who were interested in pursuing careers as professional fishermen. A total of 35 people were on board "Ehime Maru"—20 crewmembers, 13 students, and 2 teachers. The ship's curriculum included long-line tuna fishing, maritime navigation, marine engineering, and oceanography. The ship docked at Honolulu harbor on February 8. [USN, "Record of Proceedings", p. 8–9, Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 104, and NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief". "Ehime Maru" was launched in 1996 and was registered in Japan with number 135174 and had a capacity to carry up to 45 students at a time in addition to 20 crewmembers and 2 instructors.]

(abbreviated as COMSUBPAC). [Kyodo, "U.S. to extend hunt for missing crew of ship by one day," USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 2, 14, 79–85, Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 108–118. Civilians on board USS Greeneville: According to the U.S. Navy, 16 civilians were on board the USS Greeneville on February 9, 2001, when the submarine collided with the Japanese vessel Ehime Maru.

Jay Brehmer-Overland Park, Kansas,

Carol Brehmer-Overland Park, Kansas,

Jack Clary-Stow, Massachusetts,

Pat Clary-Stow, Massachusetts,

Helen Cullen-Houston, Texas,

John M. Hall-Sealy, Texas,

Leigh Anne Schnell Hall-Sealy, Texas,

Mike Mitchell-Irving, Texas,

Mickey Nolan-Honolulu, Hawaii,

Susan Nolan-Honolulu, Hawaii,

Anthony Schnur-The Woodlands, Texas,

Susan Schnur-The Woodlands, Texas,

Todd Thoman-Houston, Texas,

Deanda Thoman-Houston, Texas,

Ken Wyatt-Golden, Colorado,

Catherine Graham Wyatt-Golden, Colorado,Source: U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/02/22/japan.sub.02/]

Before departing on the mission, "Greeneville"'s captain, USN Commander Scott Waddle, was informed that the ship's Analog Video Signal Display Unit (AVSDU) was inoperative. The AVSDU was an analog video monitor, located forward of the submarine's periscope in the control room, that displayed information from the sub's three sonar stacks and screens. The monitor helped communicate sonar information to the officer of the deck. Waddle decided to continue with the mission without attempting to repair the monitor, believing that it wasn't a crucial piece of equipment. [USN "Report of Proceedings", p. 16, Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 117.]

) with a crew of 106 in addition to the 16 DV passengers and Chief of Staff Brandhuber. As the submarine transited the ship channel from Pearl Harbor, Waddle noticed that the weather was "hazier than normal", but he thought that the haze would burn off shortly. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 118-120.] "Greeneville" reached its dive point south of Oahu (coord|21|6|N|157|55|W) slightly later than scheduled, at 10:17, and submerged. The DVs were scheduled to be served lunch in two sittings, the first from 10:30 to 11:30 and the second from 11:30 to 12:30. After lunch, the submarine was to display its operational abilities and then return the DVs to Pearl Harbor for a reception that was scheduled to begin at 14:30. The lunch service ran late, and other "Greeneville" officers repeatedly reminded Waddle that the submarine needed to begin its demonstration maneuvers or it would be late back to port. Finally, at 13:10, Waddle entered the submarine's control room and prepared to execute the demonstration. Fifteen of the 16 DVs and Brandhuber entered the control room to observe the maneuvers. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 18, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 118-120. Waddle says the submarine dived at 09:30 after departing Pearl Harbor.]

Meanwhile, at 12:00, "Ehime Maru" had departed Honolulu harbor en route to fishing grounds about convert|300|nmi|km|-1 south (coord|14|N|156|W |scale:3000000) of Oahu. By 12:50, the ship was proceeding at convert|11|kn|mph km/h|0 about convert|8|nmi|km|0 south of Oahu and was nearing the area where "Greeneville" was conducting the DV cruise.NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief".]

Three crewmen were on duty in "Greeneville"'s sonar room. At 12:30, the submarine's sonar operators detected a surface vessel in the vicinity and designated the contact as "Sierra 12" (S-12). A few minutes later, they detected a second vessel about convert|20|nmi|km|0 away, which was designated as "Sierra 13" (S-13). S-13 was "Ehime Maru". Also tracking the sonar contacts in the control room was Patrick Seacrest, "Greeneville"'s sole fire control technician on duty at the time. Seacrest was responsible for "determining the course, speed, and range of surface and submerged vessels (or targets) potentially posing a threat to the submarine." [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 24, 26–27, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief".] At 12:58, Seacrest designated the track of S-13 as heading away from "Greeneville"'s location. Beginning at 13:00, Seacrest elected to discontinue updating the Contact Evaluation Plot (CEP) in the control room. The CEP is a "labor intensive" paper display that plots ship data and contact information for reference by control room personnel. Seacrest stated that one of the reasons that he decided to stop updating the CEP was that the DV guests were standing between his watchstation and the CEP. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 24, 26-27, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Kyodo, "Waddle is denied immunity as inquiry nears end."]

Collision

Before beginning the maneuvers, Waddle checked the submarine's sonar contacts and noted that there were several surface vessels in the vicinity, but none closer than convert|7|nmi|km|0 away. [Waddle, [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0104/26/lkl.00.html CNN interview on "Larry King Live"] , April 26, 2001.] "Ehime Maru" was one of these vessels. The civilians were spread throughout the control room, with three on the periscope platform and others in front of the fire control station, restricting free access to some of the displays. According to several crewmembers, Waddle, when informed that equipment preparations would further delay the start of the demonstration maneuvers, "seemed frustrated that he couldn't start the maneuvers right away." [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 29, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief".]

For 15 minutes, beginning at 13:15, 46 minutes after the scheduled time, "Greeneville" performed a series of "drastic" maneuvers, including high-speed, full-rudder, 35-degree turns side to side, as well as rapid up-and-down movements. Waddle personally directed the maneuvers. According to Waddle, the DVs "were loving it." Waddle adds, "I could barely suppress a smile as I watched the expressions of joy and amazement on the faces of our distinguished visitors." [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 120-121, 126.] During the maneuvers, several civilians in the sonar room conversed with the sonar technicians, who were at the same time trying to keep track of any sonar contacts in the vicinity. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 28-31, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 120-121, 126.]

As the high-speed maneuvers finished at 13:30 Waddle called for "Greeneville" to perform an emergency dive (called an "emergency deep") followed by an emergency main ballast blow, a maneuver that brings the submarine from a depth of about convert|400|ft|m|-1 to the surface in a few seconds by using high-pressure air to force the water out of the ship's ballast tanks as quickly as possible. The rise is so rapid that the submarine's bow rises high out of the water upon surfacing. Before executing this maneuver, the submarine was required to go to periscope depth to check for ships or dangerous obstacles on the surface. After completing the high-speed maneuvers, standing orders called for the submarine to hold a steady course for three minutes to reestablish sonar contact, which had been disrupted by the high speed maneuvers, with any vessels in the area. In this case, however, Waddle ordered the submarine to change course and go to periscope depth after holding the steady course for only 90 seconds. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 35-42, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 122-123, Kyodo, "Testimonial immunity given to key Greeneville witness."]

Gerald K. Pfeifer, entered the sonar room and observed the contacts on the sonar screens. Pfeifer then stood in the doorway between the sonar and control rooms, but didn't communicate any updated sonar information to Waddle in the control room. At 13:34, sonar gained a new contact, designated S-14. Because "Greeneville" hadn't maintained a steady, slow course for a sufficient amount of time, the sonar data available to the sonar operators did not show accurate information on "Ehime Maru"'s range or bearing. [NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 2, 41-42, Kyodo, "Testimonial immunity given to key Greeneville witness."]

At 13:38, "Greeneville" reached periscope depth (about convert|60|ft|m|0 below the surface). At this time, "Ehime Maru" was about convert|2315|yd|km|3 or convert|1.14|nmi|km|1 away from the submarine and heading in her direction. Although sonar data began to more accurately depict "Ehime Maru"'s true range and bearing at this point, this wasn't evident to the sonar operators. Lieutenant, Junior Grade Michael J. Coen, the officer of the deck, conducted a periscope search of the area and sighted no nearby ships. Since waves were washing over the periscope, Waddle ordered the submarine to go up another few feet. Waddle then looked through the periscope at the area where sonar had previously reported surface contacts. Although "Ehime Maru" was at this point heading toward "Greeneville"'s location, Waddle failed to sight the ship. Regulations mandated that Waddle conduct a three-minute, 360-degree periscope scan before executing the emergency main ballast blow maneuver. Waddle, however, aware that they were still behind schedule, conducted a 66- to 80-second, 360-degree scan, noted that the haze was still present, and sighted no ships in the vicinity. At the end of his scan, Waddle announced to the control room crew, "I hold no visual contacts." [Kyodo, "Sub captain's decisions surprised ranking officer," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 122-123, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 2, 45-54.] Waddle later explained how he conducted his periscope search: cquote|I swept the scope in low power, went to high power, looked, then panned to the right, saw the island [Oahu] . . . I can only see the mountain peak, I can't see the mountains . . . because of this white haze . . . Then I could see an airplane taking off. . . . I panned to the right where I thought I would see [S-13] the "Ehime Maru". I looked over at the remote repeater [own-ship's data] and I saw the numbers and [thought] that looks right. That's where the guy is. Didn't see him. Then went to low power and then turned to the right. I think . . . the "Ehime Maru" was perhaps further to the right, and as I swept in low power . . . missed her. And that's the only explanation that I can think of as to why I missed the vessel.

Meanwhile, Seacrest was monitoring the ship's fire control console, which graphically displayed the relative position, bearing, and speed of any sonar contacts in the area. Seacrest had been monitoring three contacts on his screens, S-12, S-13 ("Ehime Maru"), and S-14. Absorbed in trying to get a clearer picture on S-14's location, Seacrest failed to report the bearing and range of S-13 ("Ehime Maru") to Waddle during Waddle's periscope search, which Seacrest's monitors now showed was about convert|3000|yd|km|1 away and closing. During Waddle's periscope search, Seacrest was busy operating other control room instruments and didn't actively monitor his fire control displays. After the periscope search was over, and hearing Waddle's report of no visual contacts, Seacrest decided that his information for S-13 was incorrect and manually respotted the S-13 contact on his screen to a distance of convert|9000|yd|km|1 away. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 47-56, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 123-124, Kyodo, "Waddle is denied immunity as inquiry nears end." The USN inquiry report states that records show that Seacrest actually "respotted" "Ehime Maru"'s contact information 30 seconds "after" the collision. The discrepancy between Seacrest's testimoney and the record isn't explained in the report.]

After completing the emergency dive at about 13:40, Waddle invited two of the civilian guests, John Hall, one of the CEOs, and Jack Clary, the sportswriter, to operate the controls for the emergency main ballast blow. One of them sat in the helmsman's chair and the other stood at the high-pressure air valve levers, under close supervision by "Greeneville" crewmen. After the two civilians had taken their positions, at 13:42:25 Waddle ordered the maneuver executed, and they threw the control levers as instructed. The submarine began its rapid ascent toward the surface. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 57, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/02/22/japan.sub.02/]

from starboard to port (coord|21|05.5|N|157|49.1|W |scale:3000000 |display=inline,title). Personnel aboard "Ehime Maru" heard two loud noises and felt the ship shudder from two severe impacts. "Ehime Maru"'s bridge crew looked aft and saw the submarine broach the water next to their ship. Within five seconds "Ehime Maru" lost power and began to sink. As Waddle watched through "Greeneville"'s periscope, "Ehime Maru" stood almost vertically on its stern and sank in about five minutes as the fishing ship's crewmembers scrambled to abandon ship. [USN, "Record of Proceedings", p. 8, 57-58, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 126-129, Kyodo, "Ehime Maru captain recounts collision, calls for a full probe."]

Emergency response

At 13:48, "Greeneville" radioed a distress call to COMSUBPAC at Pearl Harbor for assistance. COMSUBPAC notified the local United States Coast Guard (USCG) unit at 13:55 which began a search-and-rescue effort. The submarine maneuvered towards "Ehime Maru"'s survivors to attempt a rescue. "Greeneville", however, was still low in the water because it normally took 30 minutes to pump out the remaining water in the ballast tanks after an emergency blow. Thus, as the heavy, partially submerged submarine bobbed in the ocean, it displaced large waves that, in Waddle's opinion, threatened to capsize the life rafts in which "Ehime Maru"'s survivors were gathering. Waddle decided that it would be safer to stand off the submarine from the group of survivors and wait for assistance to arrive. "Ehime Maru"'s survivors, many of them struggling in the diesel fuel released from their sinking ship, were able to gather on several life rafts that had deployed automatically as their ship sank. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 58-6, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 130-132.]

A USCG helicopter arrived at 14:27, noted the survivors in the life rafts, and began searching for any survivors that might still be in the water. At 14:31 and 14:44 respectively, a USCG rigid-hulled inflatable boat and patrol boat arrived and administered first aid to the survivors in the rafts. Media helicopters also arrived during the rescue operation, and the incident was quickly reported on by major news organizations. The USCG rescued 26 from "Ehime Maru"'s crew and took them to Oahu for medical treatment. Only one of the survivors had a serious injury, a broken clavicle; he was hospitalized for five days. Nine other crewmembers were missing, including four 17-year-old high school students and two teachers. None of the nine missing were seen by any of the survivors, "Greeneville" crewmembers, or USCG personnel after the ship sank. Captain Ōnishi stated that the nine missing crewmembers were probably in the ship's galley and engine rooms when the ship sank. USCG and USN aircraft and ships searched the ocean around "Ehime Maru"'s last location continuously for 22 days, until March 2. Two Japanese civilian vessels also joined in the search. No bodies or remains of any of the missing crewmembers were discovered. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 68-69, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 130-132, Kyodo, "Surviving students arrive at Kansai airport."]

Immediate aftermath

Shortly after the incident occurred, Japanese prime minister Yoshirō Mori was informed of the accident as he played golf in Japan. Acknowledging the message, Mori resumed his round of golf ending it an hour and a half after the first message, an action for which he was later heavily criticized, owing in part to the use of stock photographs taken the previous summer showing Mori enjoying his round of golf. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 133.]

Since the collision involved a commercial vessel, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had jurisdiction to conduct the investigation into the accident. An NTSB official, along with several USN and USCG officers, questioned Waddle and Pfeifer about the incident as soon as "Greeneville" moored at Pearl Harbor. That same day, Admiral Konetzni removed Waddle as captain of "Greeneville" and reassigned him to his staff pending the outcome of the accident investigation. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 142-145.]

, personally apologized to families of the "Ehime Maru"'s victims, who had arrived in Hawaii the day before. Several of the family members asked that "Ehime Maru" be raised from the ocean floor. Waddle had asked to accompany Fargo to apologize to the victims' families as well, but the COMSUBPAC public affairs office told him that he could not. The next day, the family members were taken by boat to view the accident site. [Kyodo, "Surviving students arrive at Kansai airport," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 151-153.]

The perceived lack of remorse by Waddle, plus reports in the Japanese media that "Greeneville" had made no effort to assist "Ehime Maru"'s survivors as they waited for almost one hour for rescue angered many Japanese citizens, especially the family members of the ship's missing crewmembers. One Japanese family member publicly referred to Waddle as, "the most terrible criminal of them all." [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 163-164.] Another family member, referring to Waddle said, "If you're a man, you should fall on your knees and ask for our pardon!" [Kyodo, "Families of missing lash out at U.S. Navy,"] In response, Waddle delivered letters of apology to the Japanese consulate in Hawaii for delivery to the victim's families during the last week of February. [Kyodo, "Families of missing lash out at U.S. Navy," Kyodo, "U.S. envoy apologizes to families of missing people," Kyodo, "Sub captain's decisions surprised ranking officer," Kyodo, "Ehime Maru captain recounts collision, calls for a full probe." Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 163-164.]

Japanese government officials publicly expressed concern over the reports that civilians had been at "Greeneville"'s controls during the collision. Japan's foreign minister, Yōhei Kōno, complained that U.S. officials had not provided details on the civilians' involvement, stating, "I cannot help but say it is an extremely grave situation if it were the case that the participation of civilians in the submarine's surfacing maneuver led to the accident." [Kyodo, "U.S. to extend hunt for missing crew of ship by one day,"]

Damage to "Greeneville"

had been sheared off.

At a cost of US$2 million,cite journal | last= | first= | title=USS Greeneville Returns to Sea | journal=Associated Press Online | pages= | date=April 12, 2001 ] "Greeneville" was repaired in a drydock at Pearl Harbor. The repairs were completed on April 18, 2001, and the submarine returned to operational status. [Gittler, "Navy treads carefully after Greeneville".]

Court of inquiry convenes

In addition to the NTSB investigation, the USN also initiated their own investigation on February 10. USN Admiral Charles Griffiths was assigned to direct the investigation. Griffiths' team completed a preliminary inquiry report and submitted it to Admiral Fargo on February 16. The following day, Fargo announced that the USN would convene a court of inquiry, the USN's highest form of administrative hearing. [Kyodo, "U.S. to launch formal inquiry into fatal submarine accident," USN, "Record of Proceedings", p.1, Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 155-157.]

A USN court of inquiry is similar to a grand jury investigation in civil court. The court has subpoena power and provides legal safeguards for the affected parties, such as the right to be represented by counsel. The court is a military investigative process and as such has no judge. Instead, a panel of three admirals make up the court and make a report based on the evidence presented in the inquiry. Testimony and other evidence presented in the court can later be used in court-martial proceedings. [Kyodo, "U.S. to launch formal inquiry into fatal submarine accident," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 157.]

(JMSDF) sent Rear Admiral Isamu Ozawa to participate in the inquiry as a non-voting adviser. The three named "affected" parties of the inquiry were Waddle, Pfeifer, and Coen, who were present in the hearing room throughout the inquiry. [Kyodo, "Investigation of sub accident stalled," USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 2, Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 157–158, 176.]

The court of inquiry began on March 5, 2001. Representing Waddle as counsel was Charles Gittins, who arrived in Hawaii on March 4. Family members of the "Ehime Maru" victims were seated directly behind Waddle in the hearing room and throughout the inquiry frequently reacted very emotionally and vocally to evidence presented during the hearings. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 174–180.]

The court called numerous witnesses, including Griffiths, Brandhuber, and Ōnishi. Ōnishi testified that large waves swept him overboard and far from his sinking ship, preventing him from assisting the rest of "Ehime Maru"'s crew as they clung to the sinking ship. Afterwards, Waddle approached Ōnishi and apologized for the accident. [Kyodo, "Guests, failure of display cited at start of Greeneville inquiry,", Kyodo, "Sub captain's decisions surprised ranking officer," Kyodo, "Ehime Maru captain recounts collision, calls for a full probe." Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 180–182.]

Waddle also apologized to several groups of "Ehime Maru" family members on March 8 and March 16. One of them, Naoko Nakata, wife of one of the missing crewmembers, asked Waddle to "please tell the truth in court." [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 180–182.] Shortly thereafter, Waddle also apologized again during an interview with a Japanese television network. [Kyodo, "Ehime school groups petition U.S. Embassy to raise ship," Kyodo, "Ehime Maru captain recounts collision, calls for a full probe." Kyodo, "Testimonial immunity given to key Greeneville witness," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 180–182.]

Konetzni testified during the inquiry that Waddle and his crew had rushed into "Greeneville"'s final maneuvers without taking enough time to ensure that no other vessels were in the vicinity. In a statement that was widely reported in the media, Konetzni looked at Waddle and said, "I'd like to go over there and punch him for not taking more time." [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 184–185.]

Seacrest was given testimonial immunity in exchange for his testimony. Pfeifer and Coen submitted unsworn statements to the court and, therefore, did not have to face cross-examination. [Kyodo, "Waddle is denied immunity as inquiry nears end." Seacrest's immunity apparently meant only that his testimony in the inquiry could not be used as evidence in any subsequent disciplinary action.]

Waddle requested immunity in exchange for his offer to testify, but Fargo denied the request, stating that Waddle's testimony was not "essential" in determining the facts of the case. In spite of the denial of immunity, Waddle elected to testify for the court. Waddle stated later that he felt he needed to testify because he had promised some of the "Ehime Maru" family members that he would do so, he had heard that "Greeneville"'s crew expected him to, and he wanted to get his side of the story into the record. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 190–204.]

After hearing testimony from 31 witnesses, the court completed its hearings on March 20. None of the civilian DVs were asked to testify. The inquiry report was submitted to Fargo on April 20. [Kyodo, "U.S. naval inquiry reveals inadequate search," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 205 and 210.]

Findings of the court

The court made several findings, including that Waddle failed to take affirmative action in response to the non-availability of the AVSDU, nine of the 13 watchstations in and around the control room were manned by substitute personnel, and that one of the sonar operators was unqualified to stand watch. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 4, 17, 21-22, 69-80, 92-97, 102-112.] The court also issued numerous opinions, including that the accident was caused by "a series and combination of individual negligence(s) onboard "Greeneville"," "artificial urgency" by Waddle to rush the submarine through its demonstration schedule as it began to run late, failure to follow standard procedures, the abbreviated periscope search, distractions and obstruction caused by the presence of the civilian guests, crew training deficiencies, overconfidence and complacency, and Waddle not paying enough attention to ship contact information. The court found that, although Brandhuber was the senior officer present on "Greeneville", Waddle as captain was solely responsible for the safe navigation of the submarine. The inquiry report went into great detail on the purpose and rules surrounding the USN's DVE program. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 4, 17, 21–22, 69–80, 92–97, 102–112, Kyodo, "U.S. naval inquiry reveals inadequate search," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 205 and 210.]

The court recommended against court-martial for the officers involved because of an absence of any "criminal intent or deliberate misconduct." Instead, the court recommended nonjudicial punishment for Waddle and Seacrest and administrative action for Brandhuber, Pfeifer, Coen, "Greeneville"'s chief of the boat Douglas Coffman, and sonar supervisor Edward McGiboney. The court recommended that the USN DVE program continue. [USN, "Report of Proceedings", p. 69–80, 92–97, 116–119.]

Relatives of "Ehime Maru"'s crewmembers were angry that none of the USN personnel involved would face court-martial and that Waddle could remain in the USN and would retain his retirement pension. Ryosuke Terata, father of one of the missing students, said with regard to Waddle, "If (he were) in Japan, he would be fired and indicted on charges such as professional negligence resulting in death." [Kyodo, "Relatives oppose inquiry recommendations," Kyodo, "Relatives criticize navy ruling," Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 217-218.]

On April 23, Waddle received an admiral's mast (a form of USN nonjudicial punishment) from Fargo at the USN Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor. Fargo pronounced Waddle guilty of dereliction of duty and improper hazarding of a vessel. He fined Waddle a half-month's pay for two months and suspended his pay for six months, gave him a verbal reprimand, and "made clear that [Waddle's] resignation was expected." [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 213-216 and 234-235.] Coen also received an admiral's mast in which he was "counseled for failing to execute his duties to ensure the safe navigation of the ship and to properly supervise watch personnel in the control room." Seacrest was admonished at a captain's mast, and Brandhuber, Pfeifer, Coffman, and McGiboney received formal administrative admonishments. The masts and administrative admonishments were documented and placed in the servicemembers' military records, perhaps affecting their future chances for promotions and assignments. Waddle formally retired from the USN on October 1, 2001. [Waddle, "The Right Thing", p. 213-216 and 234-235, NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief".]

alvage and recovery

On February 16, the USN Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) and Submarine Development Squadron 5 (SUBDEVRON 5), using the Scorpio remotely piloted underwater vehicle (ROV), located "Ehime Maru" in 2,000 feet (610 m) of water on the ocean bottom (coord|21|04.95|N|157|49.58|W). Over the next two weeks, the USN used the Scorpio and the Deep Drone ROVs to search the ocean bottom around "Ehime Maru" for the remains of any of her missing crewmembers, without success. [Kyodo, "U.S. to launch formal inquiry into fatal submarine accident," Kyodo, "Investigation of sub accident stalled," NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, " [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0102greeneville13.html Scorpio II finds Ehime Maru"] Dead link|date=October 2008.]

the wreck of "Ehime Maru". After consultation between the contractors, representatives from the Japanese government, and U.S. government officials, the decision was made not to raise "Ehime Maru" all the way to the surface but to lift and carry it underwater to shallow water near Oahu. Once there, divers could enter the ship. The operation would be the first to lift something of that size from such a depth. USN rear admiral William Klemm directed the recovery operation. [Kyodo, "Ehime school groups petition U.S. Embassy to raise ship," NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0105greeneville14.html "Environmental Assessment update"] Dead link|date=October 2008 and [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0105greeneville15.html] Dead link|date=October 2008]

Using the Phoenix III ROV, contractors, beginning on July 20, 2001, first removed "Ehime Maru"'s mast and other items on the ship's decks that could interfere with the lifting operation. Assisted by technical experts from Japan, including one from the company that built "Ehime Maru", the "Rockwater II" contract diving support vessel prepared the ship for lifting beginning the first week of August. After some difficulty, "Ehime Maru" was lifted off the ocean floor by "Rockwater II" on October 5 and slowly moved to a location closer to shore. On October 14 the wreck was set down in 115 ft (35 m) of water one statute mile (1.6 km) south of Honolulu International Airport's reef runway. [U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0107recovery03.html "Recovery operation press conference"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/rockwater2.html "Rockwater 2 Fact Sheet"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0108recovery01.html "Japanese experts to assist in Ehime Maru recovery"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0108recovery17.html "Stern lift update :: 8/31"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0110recovery10.html "Navy divers enter water, begin initial survey of Ehime Maru’s exterior"] Dead link|date=October 2008, Kyodo, "Ship salvage to continue despite problems", "Ehime Maru moved to shallows".]

On October 15, the first team of divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU ONE) began assessing the sunken vessel. Working in low- to zero-visibility conditions, 66 MDSU ONE and 30 Japanese JMSDF divers from the submarine rescue ship JDS "Chihaya" conducted 526 dives over 29 days, searching the wreck. Ōnishi, relatives of some of the missing crewmembers, and several Japanese government officials observed the operation from the dive support ships. The divers recovered the bodies of eight of the nine missing crewmembers, many personal effects, and several items unique to the ship, such as its nameplate, bell, anchors, and helm. [Kyodo, "Ehime school groups petition U.S. Embassy to raise ship," NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/cpfnews/0107recovery02.html "Mast removal begins today"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0110recovery10.html "Navy divers enter water, begin initial survey of "Ehime Maru"'s exterior"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0110recovery20.html "Divers locate, recover eighth set of remains"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0111recovery02.html "Ehime Maru successfully moved to final relocation site"] Dead link|date=October 2008, Kyodo, "Ehime Maru moved to shallows", "First Ehime Maru corpse identified; two more found".]

. [cite web |url=http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0111recovery01.html |title=Navy begins final Ehime Maru relocation |accessdate=2007-12-08 |date=2001-11-24 |publisher=Commander, US Pacific Fleet: US NavyDead link|date=October 2008] [cite web |url=http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=4723 |title= Ehime Maru Successfully Moved to Final Relocation Site |accessdate=2007-12-08 |date=2001-11-25 |publisher=U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs] The event was witnessed by three of "Ehime Maru"'s victims' families on board "Chihaya". The total cost of the salvage operations was about $60 million. [NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief", U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0111recovery01.html "Navy begins final "Ehime Maru" relocation"] Dead link|date=October 2008, [http://www.cpf.navy.mil/news_images/special_projects/CPFNEWS/0111recovery02.html "Ehime Maru" successfully moved to final relocation site"] Dead link|date=October 2008.]

Compensation

On April 10, 2002, the USN signed an agreement to pay the Ehime Prefectural Government US$11.47 million in compensation for the sinking of "Ehime Maru". Some $8.87 million was to help pay to replace the ship, and the remainder was to pay for counseling and financial aid for the survivors as well as to pay for a memorial ceremony for the victims. [Kyodo, "Navy agrees to pay Ehime $ 11.5 million"]

On November 14, 2002, the USN agreed to pay $13.9 million in compensation to 33 of the 35 families of victims or injured survivors. The remaining two family members accepted a $2.6 million settlement from the USN on January 31, 2003. Before accepting the settlement, the two family members had asked for face-to-face apologies from the USN and Waddle, a full investigation into the collision, a reasonable compensation offer, and a promise from the USN to help prevent similar accidents in the future. [Gittler, "Last two "Ehime Maru" families OK settlement".] Masumi Terata, whose teenage son Yusuke died in the accident, said that she was happy that the settlement was behind them, but added that, "My true feeling is that if possible, I want to see my son one more time." [Kyodo, "Waddle visits Ehime memorial", Tyler, "Former USS Greeneville skipper places wreath at Ehime Maru memorial", Gittler, "Last two Ehime Maru families OK settlement".]

Waddle's trip to Japan

On December 14, 2002, Waddle, accompanied by Charles Gittins, traveled to Japan to apologize personally to the victims' families. On December 15, Waddle visited the "Ehime Maru" memorial at Uwajima Fisheries High School and placed a wreath of white lilies before a monument to the dead, bowed in silence and then read the victims’ names aloud. No local officials were present during Waddle's visit, citing statements from some victims' families that they did not want Waddle to visit. Later that day, Waddle met with some of the families of the victims and with some of the survivors. The next day, in Tokyo, Waddle met with Masumi Terata. Speaking of her meeting with Waddle, Terata stated, "I am first and foremost the family member of a victim and Mr. Waddle is first and foremost a victimizer. But when I saw Mr. Waddle as a person who was crying and apologizing, I thought he was apologizing from the heart.” [Kyodo, "Waddle visits Ehime memorial", Tyler, "Former USS Greeneville skipper places wreath at Ehime Maru memorial", Giordono, "Family of Ehime Maru victim to settle suit"]

In a press conference on December 17, Gittins criticized the USN for their continued insistence that Waddle not come to Japan to visit the victims' families. Said Gittins, "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the Navy did not want Scott to come meet with the families and do what is morally right and what is understood in Japanese culture to be the right thing to do."

Gittins added that he had received emails from the USN as recently as the week before urging Waddle not to make the trip. Gittins stated that the reason that it took two years for Waddle to make the trip to Japan was because Waddle was forbidden to do so while he was still in the USN and because of financial constraints and fear of litigation after his retirement. [Giordono, "Lawyer blames military for delay of Waddle's visit to Ehime Maru families"]

Effect on U.S./Japan relations

After the sinking of "Ehime Maru", many Japanese, including government officials, questioned why civilians were allowed in "Greeneville"'s control room during maneuvers that could place other, uninvolved, vessels at risk. Also, the Japanese expressed concern that the US Navy did not immediately take full responsibility for the accident, appeared at first to try to conceal information about the DVE program, and did not court martial Waddle or have him personally apologize immediately after the accident.Johnson, Chalmers, "Three Rapes: The Status of Forces Agreement and Okinawa", Maeda, Tetsuo, "The Unbelievable "Lightness" of the US-Japan Alliance", Allen, David, "Ehime Maru families want probe of civilian passenger program", Japan Times, The, "A belated but welcome apology".] The subsequent effort by the U.S. government to retrieve the victims' remains from the sunken wreck, numerous apologies from U.S. government representatives and Waddle, and the compensation paid to the Ehime government and to the victims' families appear to have assuaged much of the anger directed toward the U.S. government and military. Many Japanese, both government and private citizens, however, continue to call for the U.S. government to make more effort to reduce or eliminate serious accidents and crimes involving U.S. military personnel.

Although the United States and Japan have been strong allies since the end of World War II, the accident involving "Ehime Maru" showed that the relationship is not always completely harmonious, especially with regard to incidents in which U.S. military personnel or assets injure or kill Japanese citizens or damage their property. In response to crimes committed by U.S. servicemembers against Japanese citizens, such as the 1995 Okinawan rape incident, Japanese citizens and some Japanese government officials have questioned the equality of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan and the issue of responsibility and accountability by the U.S. government concerning the actions of its military members in Japan. In addition, the Japanese have questioned the U.S. commitment to safe operations of its military assets in light of several accidents, including aircraft crashes and other ship collisions that have injured or killed Japanese citizens. [Johnson, Chalmers, "Three Rapes: The Status of Forces Agreement and Okinawa", Maeda, Tetsuo, "The Unbelievable "Lightness" of the US-Japan Alliance."]

Later events

Acting on a request from the Ehime government, the state of Hawaii established a non-profit group, the Ehime Maru Memorial Association, on November 11, 2001, to coordinate the activities of placing an Ehime Maru memorial at a site in Hawaii. The monument to the ship was completed on February 9, 2002, at Kakaako Waterfront Park near Honolulu. Each year since the accident, memorial ceremonies have been held on February 9 at Uwajima Fisheries High School in Ehime and at the "Ehime Maru" monument in Hawaii. [Japan-America Society of Hawaii, "Ehime Maru Memorial Association", Kyodo, "School marks date of ship's sinking", "Dual memorials held for Ehime Maru", Tyler, Greg, "Uwajima school remembers Ehime Maru"]

Shipbuilders in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, began construction on a new "Ehime Maru" on April 17, 2002. Upon completion, the new ship sailed to Hawaii, arriving on June 17, 2003. In a ceremony at the "Ehime Maru" monument, the principal of Uwajima Fishery at the time of the disaster, Kazumitsu Joko (上甲一光 "Jōkō Kazumitsu"), read a message from Moriyuki Kato, the governor of Ehime Prefecture, addressed to the Hawaiian people. The message stated, in part, "Since the Ehime Maru tragic accident two years ago, the people of Hawaii have shown compassion and warm support." [Kyodo, "Work starts on Ehime Maru's replacement", Kakesako, "Tender Thoughts".]

The NTSB released its report on the accident on October 19, 2005. The NTSB report largely confirmed the USN's inquiry findings, including that Waddle was primarily responsible for the collision. The NTSB report, however, was more critical of the distractions caused by the DV civilians on "Greeneville" that contributed to the accident. The report concluded that the USN had recognized the "detrimental operating conditions" aboard "Greeneville" and had taken "additional measures to address the safety of operations" on submarines, including additional restrictions on DVE visitors. [Tyler, Greg, "Former USS Greeneville commander blamed for collision with fishing boat", NTSB, "Marine Accident Brief".]

References

Notes

Books

* cite book
last = Strauch
first = Barry
year = 2004
title = Investigating Human Error: Incidents, Accidents, and Complex Systems
publisher = Ashgate Pub Ltd
id = ISBN 0754641228

* cite book
last = Waddle
first = Scott
coauthors = Ken Abraham
year = 2003
title = The Right Thing
publisher = Integrity Publishers
location = Brentwood, Tennessee
id = ISBN 1591450365

Web

Kyodo News

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authorlink = Kyodo News
coauthors =
date= 2001-02-14
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title = Surviving students arrive at Kansai airport
work = The Japan Times
accessdate = 2007-05-24

*cite web
last = Kyodo News
authorlink = Kyodo News
date= 2001-02-16
url = http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20010216a3.html
title = U.S. to extend hunt for missing crew of ship by one day
work = The Japan Times
accessdate = 2007-05-24

*cite web
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title = Families of missing lash out at U.S. Navy
work = The Japan Times
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work = The Japan Times
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*cite web
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work = The Japan Times
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"Stars and Stripes"

*cite web
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title = Record of Proceedings, Court of Inquiry Into the Circumstances Surrounding the Collision Between USS "Greeneville" (SSN 772) and Japanese M/V "Ehime Maru" that Occurred Off the Coast of Oahu, Hawaii on 9 February 2001
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