Kin of Japanese Fishing Trawler Victims Express Outrage

Monday, April 16, 2001
Relatives of nine Japanese lost at sea when a U.S. submarine sank their fishing boat off Hawaii in February voiced anger on Saturday after hearing the captain of the submarine would not face criminal charges.

The families of the nine missing, including four 17-year-old boys aboard the training trawler and two teachers, had followed closely the proceedings of a U.S. Navy court of inquiry in Hawaii to investigate the accident. Twenty-six people survived.

"I'll be very angry if I learn officially that the court-martial will not take place," said the father of one of two fishing instructors missing after the USS Greeneville suddenly surfaced under the trawler off Hawaii in early February. Relatives of those who survived the accident felt otherwise. "This was not an accident, it was an incident," said another relative, whose son, survived the sinking.

A Navy official said in Hawaii on Friday that the court of inquiry would recommend that Commander Scott Waddle should not be tried for negligent homicide, but said he could still face a court martial on charges other than negligent homicide.

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