standing letters

On Sept. 22, 2015, the man gets up up and goes about his normal routine with a cup of coffee. He looks at the weather and decides it's another good day for fishing. He leaves the house and goes down to the dock to get his 23-foot center-console powerboat ready to do some fishing. He finishes fishing and heads for his home port in Stonington, Conn. His name is Walter "Wally" Krupinski.

We will never know what Wally caught or how many. We shall never know what went through Wally's mind when he saw what was about to happen. The other two men, skipper Cooper Bacon and his first mate, were being paid a lot of money to pilot a 60-foot Princess luxury yacht from a boat show in Newport, R.I., to one in Stamford, Conn. According to the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association magazine, skipper Bacon was piloting the Princess 60, which weighed 67,241 pounds , from an indoor salon when the vessel was going an average speed of 25.2 knots. Skipper Bacon did not post his first mate as a lookout. Needlessly to say, when the Princess 60 struck the 23-foot powerboat.

The collision resulted in Wally's death and the destruction of his powerboat. The Princess 60 was equipped with a GPS, an operating horn, a VHF marine radiotelephone and a navigation system, among other safety equipment. Skipper Bacon did not post a lookout, did not make passing arrangements, sound the horn, change course, slacken speed or stop and reverse course to avoid a collision. Skipper Bacon was sentenced as of Jan. 17, 2019, and was ordered to pay Wally's wife, Peggy Krupinski, restitution of $1,800, and he received two years' probation. Seaman's manslaughter, a felony, is punishable by a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Can any good boatsman agree with the results of this untimely death? God bless Wally and his widow, Peggy.

Bill Lewis


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