A Halibut Cove restaurant owner has pleaded guilty to charges of reckless boating and attempting to interfere with the navigation of a floatplane.
Beck was sentenced to three years of probation, including three months of home confinement, along with a $9,500 fine. In addition, Marian Beck, 70, is required to surrender her mariner’s license following the reckless actions that endangered the safety of a seaplane full of passengers.
The incident took place on Aug. 23, 2022, when Beck, who owns The Saltry restaurant, operated a boat in a reckless manner. She engaged in several close passing maneuvers in front of a floatplane as it was taxiing out of a waterway. The floatplane was carrying passengers who were participating in a bear and sightseeing tour via the plane.
Beck, who is a licensed mariner and operates commercially in Halibut Cove and its surrounding areas, will have to relinquish her Master-Captain’s license to the U.S. Coast Guard as part of her sentencing.
The court’s sentencing was based on the determination that Beck’s actions had created a reckless and dangerous situation. The court emphasized that the sentence is intended to reflect the seriousness of the offense and to send a clear message to industry professionals, aiming to deter any future criminal actions of a similar nature.
U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska stated, “Ms. Beck’s conscious disregard for the safety of the pilot and his passengers will not be tolerated. 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.”
Paul M. Shultz, Special Agent in Charge of the Coast Guard Investigative Service Northwest Field Office, said, “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.”
Rear Admiral Megan Dean, Commander of the Coast Guard’s 17th District, expressed support for the court’s decision: “The Coast Guard fully supports the just result in this case. We want every mariner to operate their vessel safely and in compliance with the law.”
The Coast Guard Investigative Service Northwest Field Office, with assistance from the Alaska State Troopers, conducted the investigation that led to Beck’s guilty plea and sentencing.