ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The captain of a freighter that ran aground in the Aleutian Islands and broke apart, spilling more than 335,000 gallons of fuel, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of making a false statement to federal investigators.
Capt. Kailash Bhushan Singh, 53, of New Delhi, India, admitted that he initially told investigators the wrong time when the Selendang Ayu lost power and the vessel went adrift. Singh also told his crew to back him up in the time he gave, prosecutors said.
A few days later, he told investigators the truth and has cooperated with investigators since, prosecutors said.
Judge Ralph Beistline sentenced Singh to three years’ probation, which he will be allowed to serve in his home country.
“Because of your mistake, you are a felon,” Beistline said just before issuing the sentence. “I recognize you were under a lot of stress. It was a very emotional time, and I can certainly sympathize with that. But it does not justify your conduct.”
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