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Sub skipper's family speaks out about collision

Waddle
Jill Waddle, top, and retired Air Force officer Dan Waddle, bottom, say Scott Waddle is contrite  
 WEB EXCLUSIVE

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (CNN) -- The father and wife of Navy Cmdr. Scott Waddle, the skipper of the submarine that collided with a Japanese trawler, told CNN on Sunday that Waddle has been contrite and emotional during the Navy's inquiry into the tragedy.

Waddle's vessel, the USS Greeneville, collided with the ship February 9, killing nine people.

The Greeneville was conducting a demonstration of an emergency surfacing maneuver for 16 civilians aboard at the time. The Greeneville surfaced and slammed into the Ehime Maru, sinking it in about 2,000 feet of water off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"I know my son's pain, and I can feel it for him," said Dan Waddle, a retired Air Force officer. "The day before yesterday when they started to show the videotape of the search effort by the Coast Guard, Scott broke down and cried and they had to take a recess."

Waddle said he feared his son would be made to be a scapegoat for the collision, which has developed into a major issue in U.S.-Japanese relations.

"It is a concern," said Waddle. "The Navy admiral from the Japanese submarine force is sitting about 10 feet in front of me (during the court of inquiry). And I think this is unprecedented that an officer from a foreign country is sent on an inquiry like this. That stresses the interest and the political aspects of it."

 VIDEO
CNN's Martin Savidge talks with the wife and father of Cmdr. Scott Waddle of the U.S.S. Greenville

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Waddle's wife acknowledged that the court of inquiry has been difficult for her family, but she noted positive aspects of it as well.

"The thing that's been difficult (is that) the Japanese families are here. Finally (Scott Waddle) was able to apologize to them in person," Jill Waddle told CNN. "That has helped. It's very painful, but it's good that (the healing process) has started."

CNN National Correspondent Martin Savidge contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
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Sub skipper's lawyer disputes Navy's report of collision
March 7, 2001
Commander of USS Greeneville will not testify
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Skipper seeks immunity, sub maneuvers surface
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Navy switches from search to salvage operations
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Navy looks at role of escort officer in collision probe
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RELATED SITES:
U.S. Coast Guard
Japanese Prime Minister
CINCPACFLT :: USS Greeneville (SSN 772) incident
City of Uwajima's memorial site
U.S. Navy
 • CINCPACFLT statement on the USS Greeneville incident
 • Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
 • USS Greeneville
National Transportation Safety Board

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