Man pleads guilty to littering in breakup of grounded boat off Ludington

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 10:19:51-04

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) — A man who authorities say grounded a 76-foot (23-meter) boat near the beach of a state park along Lake Michigan has pleaded guilty to littering to resolve the case.

Prosecutors in Mason County had charged 51-year-old Randall West of Grayling with reckless operation of a vessel. They say West grounded the Tica off Ludington State Park in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula after it started taking in water on April 15, 2017.

The boat eventually broke up, scattering debris along the lakeshore.

The original charge was dismissed as part of this week’s plea. A judge ordered West to pay more than $116,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

Authorities say West should have removed the boat before it broke up. They say it damaged the Lake Michigan ecosystem.