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NJ Captain charged in collison

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:29 pm
by porthole
I thought I had posted the original article but can't find it, so.

12/20/17 ... al_bo.html

N.J. boat captain charged with manslaughter in fatal crash off Rhode Island
Updated Dec 20, 2017; Posted Dec 20, 2017

By Spencer Kent,
NJ Advance Media for

A New Jersey boat captain has been indicted by federal authorities on a manslaughter charge in a fatal boat crash that killed an 81-year-old man two years ago off Rhode Island.

Cooper "Chick" Bacon, 78, of Middle Township in Cape May County, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge seaman's manslaughter in federal court in Rhode Island, authorities said. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

The boat crash killed Walter Krupinski, of Stonington, Connecticut, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Rhode Island.

Bacon, who is free on bond, was ordered to surrender his U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Merchant Marine license and to refrain from piloting or operating any vessel while he awaits trial.

On Sept. 22, 2015, Bacon and a then-73-year-old Woodbine man were aboard a 60-foot, 2016 Viking Princess 60 when it collided with a 23-foot power boat, the Peggy K, in waters off Westerly, Rhode Island, killing Krupinski, the sole person on the vessel.

Bacon had been bringing the yacht from the Newport Boat Show to a boat show in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, previous reports said.

Earlier this month, prosecutors returned an indictment against Bacon alleging that he "failed to take precautions required of the ordinary practice of a seaman when he was at the helm of a yacht."

Bacon failed to "adequately assess the risk of collision; proceed at a safe speed; post his first mate to look-out; and properly overtake, give-way and steer well clear of the Peggy K," authorities said.

A Coast Guard official previously testified that Bacon's yacht was traveling at speeds between 25 to 31 knots and had auto-navigation engaged just before the crash, previous reports said.

In addition to 10 years in prison, seaman's manslaughter also poses three years of supervision upon release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Bacon was initially fined $300 earlier this year by a Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal after being found guilty of improper navigation or failure to have a lookout, failure to take action to avoid a collision and improper overtaking of another vessel.

Krupinski's widow, Peggy Krupinski, had told at the time that she felt the penalty was far too lenient.

Spencer Kent may be reached at

Re: NJ Captain charged in collison

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:30 pm
by porthole
Update, the captain had pleaded guilty to "Seaman's Manslaughter", a term I've never heard before. ... crash.html

N.J. yacht captain pleads guilty to 'seaman's manslaughter' in 2015 boat crash
Updated Oct 31, 6:51 PM; Posted Oct 31, 6:51 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A New Jersey yacht captain accused of causing a fatal collision off the coast of Rhode Island has pleaded guilty.

The Providence Journal reports 79-year-old Cooper Bacon, of Cape May, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to seaman's manslaughter in the death of 81-year-old Walter Krupinski, of Norfolk, Connecticut.

Bacon was previously found guilty in March of charges brought against him by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

Prosecutors say Bacon wasn't paying attention when he crashed into Krupinski's fishing boat in 2015, killing him. Bacon was piloting the 60-foot yacht from Newport to a boat show in Stamford, Connecticut at the time of the crash.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17.

Re: NJ Captain charged in collison

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:31 pm
by jimh
porthole wrote:...New Jersey yacht captain...[pled] guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to seaman's manslaughter...

Apparently "Seaman's Manslaughter" is a crime under federal jurisdiction. I have never heard of that crime. Generally any crime must be specified by the statue it violates, so perhaps one can investigate the actual charge and the cited statute to discover what exactly is constituted in "Seaman's Manslaughter."

ASIDE: the press has some new fascination with the past participle of "to plead." For decades the past tense or past participle of "plead" was "pled." Now it is always written as "pleaded." I asked a friend who has been an attorney for about 50-years. He said "pled" was the form he'd heard and used all of his career in law. Here is an excerpt from Merriam-Webster:

Pleaded vs. Pled
Plead belongs to the same class of verbs as bleed, lead, and feed, and like them it has a past and past participle with a short vowel spelled pled (or sometimes plead, which is pronounced alike). From the beginning, pled has faced competition from the regular form pleaded, which eventually came to predominate in mainstream British English. Pled was and is used in Scottish English, which is likely how it came to American English. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, pled was attacked by many American usage commentators (perhaps because it was not in good British use). Though still sometimes criticized, it is fully respectable today and both pled (or plead) and pleaded are in good use in the U.S. In legal use (such as “pleaded guilty,” “pled guilty”), both forms are standard, though pleaded is used with greater frequency. In nonlegal use (such as “pleaded for help”), pleaded appears more commonly, though pled is also considered standard.

No one would say, "The cat was feeded an hour ago." Or, my hydraulic steering was bleeded by the dealer.

Many English words have special forms for their past participle. My favorite example: wrought. "What hath God wrought" and not "What has God worked."