Boat owners settle in Prince William case

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Owners of a commercial fishing boat that ran aground last summer in Prince William Sound will pay $27,500 in penalties.

The 130-foot Nordic Viking on July 21 ran onto rocks and spilled 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel near Port Gravina.

The settlement reached by the state with owners said the grounding happened "due to the reckless conduct of Dale Pruitt," the boat's captain.

The grounding breached fuel tanks and leaking diesel forced state officials to temporarily close some areas to commercial salmon fishing.

Boat owners agreed to penalties and other steps in exchange for the state not taking further civil or criminal action.

They will pay $17,500 to a state oil and hazardous substance prevention and cleanup fund.

They will pay $10,000 to a nonprofit organization, the Gulf of Alaska Keeper, for use in a program to clear beaches of old fishing equipment and other marine debris.

William Jacobson of Kodiak, a partner in the Nordic Viking, agreed to develop and use a drug and alcohol testing program for three other fishing boats in which he holds an ownership interest.

Another partner, William Prout of Kodiak, will do the same for a separate boat he partly owns.

Jacobson and Prout said they were pleased with the settlement.

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