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Thread: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

  1. #1
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    Default False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Yep. Four years. Plus, he's ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution for expenses.

    https://pilotonline.com/news/local/c...e9a103631.html

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Well deserved justice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Works for me!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #4
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Well deserved vacation at our expense. I don't mind this one..
    Tom L

  5. #5
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    4 years in the clink for a drunken white racist thug. Should be an interesting sojern. Good riddance.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    And (probably) no penalty if he had called an said "I'm out of gas; please help." I'd rather see a year in jail and 5 years serious, court supervised, community service.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    No jail time. A fine, community service, and counselling. And take away his driving and boating licenses.

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    No jail time. A fine, community service, and counselling. And take away his driving and boating licenses.

    Jeff
    Not just the boating offence, banged up for being a violent drunk
    While being transported back to shore, Stahmer kicked and threatened one of the boarding officers, who is black. In between racial slurs, Stahmer said he would “take him out” if he ever saw him again, according to court documents.
    <snip>
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Kosky noted Stahmer has an extensive record of disorderly behavior, but has “never once, not in almost 20 years, received a meaningful sentence.”
    “Overall, the defendant’s history suggests that he is a person coping with unchecked anger and aggression,” he said. “His constant quarrels with law enforcement officers and alcohol-related bar fights demonstrate his inability to moderate his anger and function in society.”
    Kimball said his client is an alcoholic in need of help. He said Stahmer had managed to stay away from alcohol for several years, but a few weeks before the incident on the boat had found a friend dead from an apparent heroin overdose.
    The jury that convicted Stahmer also acquitted him of a second count of making a false distress call. Kimball said Stahmer also broadcast a “mayday” before he was located. He argued that was legal because his client was out of gas, in a boat without lights, near the shipping channel.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    It's entertaining to muse on who his prison room mate might be.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Satisfying verdict cause the guy is apparently an all around dirt bag. Sets an ugly precedent, someone undeserving will get jammed up for calling in an emergency. Or someone will hear a story true or not of someone getting jammed up and not call in a real emergency.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Doesn’t sound precedent setting. The guy was acquitted of making the false distress call. He got the jail time for assaulting and threatening to kill a minority member of the boarding crew who responded in the middle of the night to help him. Also he has a 20 year prior history of assault and terroristis threatening. He’s just an old fashioned, out of control, white racist thug who went one step to far, and it finally caught up to him. Seems like a fair sentence to me.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    One night I had just managed to dose off while beating to windward in perfect conditions, next thing I am woken by bright light shining down on me from high up, almost right overhead, panic! must be a ship about to run me down shining a light down on me to get my attention, but then I became aware of the sound of a helicopter and saw a blue flashing light close to starboard. I get on deck, they say (yelling across the water, and all the while I can't see a thing because they have their search light on me) there was a report of distress flares and since I am the only vessel in the area thought it was me. No not me. Are you sure? Hmmm, let me think... no not me. Have you seen any flares being released? (What, in my goddam dreams?) No I have not. Finally they left me alone having scared the living sh!t out of me. Didn't get any more sleep that night. Took a few weeks before I could shake off that feeling when I thought I was about to be run down by a ship. Makes me feel slightly sick just recalling it now years after the fact.

    So tell me, what is a reasonable penalty for false rescue?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Sounds like the guy is an all around alpha hotel. Im fine with the verdict.

    False alarms are no joke and the Coasties have enough to worry about.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Setting punitive policy according to your individual fears is not how it works in a civilized country. None or only very, very egregious false alarms should be punished. It is a slippery slope. See private fire companies for fun. Violates old notions of rendering help at sea. And if you have a lovely chap as in this case there will be plenty of other things to hang them with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    One night I had just managed to dose off while beating to windward in perfect conditions, next thing I am woken by bright light shining down on me from high up, almost right overhead, panic! must be a ship about to run me down shining a light down on me to get my attention, but then I became aware of the sound of a helicopter and saw a blue flashing light close to starboard. I get on deck, they say (yelling across the water, and all the while I can't see a thing because they have their search light on me) there was a report of distress flares and since I am the only vessel in the area thought it was me. No not me. Are you sure? Hmmm, let me think... no not me. Have you seen any flares being released? (What, in my goddam dreams?) No I have not. Finally they left me alone having scared the living sh!t out of me. Didn't get any more sleep that night. Took a few weeks before I could shake off that feeling when I thought I was about to be run down by a ship. Makes me feel slightly sick just recalling it now years after the fact.

    So tell me, what is a reasonable penalty for false rescue?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Several years ago, we were coming up the coast of S. California, after the Ensenada race, in our Common Sense Sloop "Red Witch". My wife and I had left San Diego at sun down and had beat up the coast in light airs, a trip that had taken nearly thirty hours of drifting and moving from one cat's paw to another. The next evening, we were, finally, in striking distance of the Newport Harbor jetty when we hear the toot of a fog horn off to leeward. In the moon light we could just make out the silhoutte of a small plastic cruising sail boat. The skipper was tooting on the fog horn and flashing a light for all he was worth! After five minutes, of sailing back down wind, we were close enough to hail them, asking what their emergency was. The answer was, "we are out of gas and our boat won't sail right because there is no wind!" As we sailed a circle around them let them know that we were under sail and had no engine and no gasoline in our boat but, I would radio the Coast Guard on their behalf. My wife and I were dog tired and having to obey the law of the sea in lending assistance was down right irritating because that guy had no clue and no business being outside of the harbor with such a poorly prepared vessel! In fact, it was irritating to answer to a call from a person who should have known better! It took us an extra hour to beat back against the current to make the jetty again. I checked the next day and indeed, the Coasties had rescued them. I am happy it was not a true emergency but, fool at sea can be a dangerous thing!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 03-01-2018 at 04:20 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Good on ya, Jay. I've seen "Idiots Abroad" too often for it to be funny. Ran into three guys in a 15' tinnie with an outboard (still had fuel) heading due west in fog off the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca one time. They hailed us and asked which way the beach was! Didn't even have a compass! I gave them my little backpack compass and told 'em to head back to Neah Bay where they came out of. Crazy!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn.brooks View Post
    Doesn’t sound precedent setting. The guy was acquitted of making the false distress call. He got the jail time for assaulting and threatening to kill a minority member of the boarding crew who responded in the middle of the night to help him. .
    And there we have it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: False Distress Call Gets Boater Four Years In Prison

    "The guy was acquitted of making the false distress call." [#11]

    I can see how people might get confused. Justin Stahmer absolutely did make a false distress call, falsly claiming "man overboard" and he was convicted on that count. As the story linked in the OP makes abundantly clear in the second paragraph:

    "But he didn’t say he was drunk and out of gas in the Chesapeake Bay. He didn’t say much of anything. Just “man overboard,” according to court documents."

    A second count of false distress call was that he said, "Mayday." The story linked in the OP states in its last paragraph:

    "The jury that convicted Stahmer also acquitted him of a second count of making a false distress call. Kimball said Stahmer also broadcast a “mayday” before he was located. He argued that was legal because his client was out of gas, in a boat without lights, near the shipping channel."

    Perhaps had he not been such a belligerant racist drunk he might have gotten off with restitution and supervised release. The false distress call is one of the crimes for which Stahmer was convicted and sentenced to jail time.

    "Samples Of Successful Hoax Call Prosecutions
    "United States v. Flores, OH – Defendant pleaded guilty, sentenced to 36 months supervised release, ordered to pay $112,735.70 restitution
    "United States v. Johnson, MI – Defendant pleaded guilty, sentenced to 24 months in prison, ordered to pay $56,958.30 restitution
    "United States v. Baldwin, WA — Defendant pleaded guilty, sentenced to 12 months and one day imprisonment, 36 months supervised release, and ordered to pay $194,587.70 restitution
    "United States v. Feener, MA — Defendant pleaded guilty, sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, 36 months supervised release and ordered to pay $82,004.00 in restitution
    "United States v. D'Addieco, MA — Defendant pleaded guilty, sentenced to three months imprisonment, 24 months supervised release, and ordered to pay $56,459.70 in restitution"
    http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2012/...day-no-way.asp

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