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Press Release

Halibut Cove woman pleads guilty, sentenced on federal navigation interference charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Halibut Cove woman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years’ probation, with three months of the probation spent in home confinement, a $9,500 fine and is required to give up her mariner’s license after she attempted to interfere with the navigation of a seaplane using a boat.

According to court documents, on Aug. 23, 2022, Marian Beck, 70, operated a boat in a reckless manner by making several close passing maneuvers in front of a seaplane while it was taxiing out of the waterway. The seaplane was full of passengers participating in a bear and sightseeing tour via the plane.

Beck is a licensed mariner and operates commercially in Halibut Cove and the surrounding area. Beck is required to relinquish her Master-Captain’s license to the U.S. Coast Guard as part of her sentence.

The U.S. District Court imposed three years’ probation, including a requirement of three months’ home confinement, citing that the defendant’s actions created a reckless and dangerous situation and factored into the court’s decision. During the hearing, the court commented that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and sends a message to industry professionals to deter future criminal actions. 

“Ms. Beck’s conscious disregard for the safety of the pilot and his passengers will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “Seaplanes are an integral piece of Alaska, and the pilots and passengers of these planes should be free to operate and travel freely within the state and elsewhere without harassment in their day-to-day operations.”

“The Coast Guard Investigative Service values the safety of all mariners, and will not tolerate dangerous and deliberate acts that endanger the lives of others.  We thank the local community for their tips and their patience as this case was investigated and brought to resolution,” said Paul M. Shultz, Special Agent in Charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service Northwest Field Office.

“The Coast Guard fully supports the just result in this case,” said Rear Admiral Megan Dean, Commander of the Coast Guard’s 17th District. “We want every mariner to operate their vessel safely and in compliance with the law.”

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) Northwest Field Office, with assistance from the Alaska State Troopers, investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gavelek are prosecuting the case.

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Contact

Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

reagan.zimmerman@usdoj.gov

Updated January 26, 2024

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Press Release Number: 24-07