Navy Admiral Receives Report on Submarine Incident

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on Friday received a Navy panel's report on the sinking of a Japanese fishing vessel by a U.S. submarine, according to a Navy official at the Pentagon.

The official would not say whether the report recommends courts-martial or any other action against the USS Greeneville's top three officers.

Three admirals who conducted a court of inquiry into the Feb. 9 sinking delivered the report to Adm. Thomas Fargo at Peaine.

Vice Adm. John Nathman and Rear Adms. Paul Sullivan and David Stone presented their nearly 2,000-page report to Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Thomas Fargo at Pearl Harbor.

Adm. Isamu Ozawa of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force was also in Hawaii for turnover of the report. He was included in deliberations with the three American admirals but did not have a vote.

The submarine officers could face courts-martial, administrative discipline or other action. Fargo is not bound to take any specific action.

Fargo had initially planned to receive the report Saturday in San Diego, where he was to attend a celebration honoring a submarine squadron. Nathman, the panel's presiding officer, is stationed there.

But the official said Fargo canceled the trip to remain in Hawaii for the arrival of 24 U.S. spy plane crew members who spent 11 days in captivity on the Chinese island of Hainan.

The crew members are scheduled to leave Hawaii for Whidbey Island, Wash., Saturday after two days of debriefings.

Nine people were killed when the Greeneville surfaced beneath the Ehime Maru nine miles off Diamond Head while conducting an emergency rapid-ascent drill for 16 civilian guests on Feb. 9.

The court of inquiry investigated the actions of the submarine's skipper, Cmdr. Scott Waddle; his executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Pfeifer; and the officer of the deck, Lt. j.g. Michael Coen.

Waddle has been reassigned to the Pearl Harbor submarine staff pending the outcome of the inquiry. Pfeifer and Coen remain assigned to the Greeneville, which returned to sea Wednesday for the first time since the collision and $2 million in repairs to its rubber exterior.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Waddle's civilian attorney, Charles Gittins, said he didn't know the content of the report and had been told he wouldn't receive a copy of it. He said he hadn't been briefed on the change in plans for the presentation of the report to Fargo.

The report also was expected to discuss the Navy program that allows at-sea tours for civilians on U.S. submarines.