Drunk boater sentenced

A man charged in a boat crash that injured a Grand Haven couple last year has lost his boat operation privileges for two years.
Becky Vargo
Jan 16, 2014

Steven Rescorla, 58, of Grand Haven was sentenced Wednesday morning in Holland District Court. The Grand Haven man was also ordered to perform 75 hours of community service. He was put on probation for 18 months and ordered not to drink alcohol or use any controlled substances during that time.

Judge Susan Jonas said Rescorla is responsible for restitution of costs incurred by his victims that are not covered by insurance. Fines and costs were set at $1,250.

Larry Baum and his wife, Barbara Ramoie, were fishing in Lake Michigan on Sept. 1, a few hundred yards offshore Port Sheldon Township, when their 17-foot boat was struck by Rescorla's 36-foot speedboat. Ramoie was thrown from the boat and suffered a head injury. Her husband rescued her from the water.

Rescorla was charged with marine safety/operating under the influence of alcohol.

In an attempt to convince the judge for a light sentence, Rescorla’s attorney pointed out that his client has experienced a great deal of remorse. He noted that Rescorla had an alcohol assessment and is taking classes including boating safety.

“You don’t drink at all when boating,” the attorney said. “That’s the lesson here.”

When he was given a chance to talk during Wednesday's court hearing, Rescorla said: “I’d like to apologize to Larry and Barbara. I feel really bad about the incident.”

Rescorla told the judge he was about a half-mile offshore, between a group of fishing boats and the shore, when his boat struck Baum’s smaller vessel.

Baum told the judge the boat was about 100 yards away when he saw it coming.

In earlier statements, Rescorla claimed there was a steering problem, which led to the collision.

"The very first thing a safe boater would do is cut the throttle,” said Jonas, who noted she grew up on Spring Lake. “If you were 100 yards away, there should have been no crash.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Un f#@% real. Somebody please explain why this man is not in jail or prison. I hope he has to experience the horror that that poor couple had to endure. What a worthless human.






Accidents do happen.thank god no one was killed and I'm sure this man who is the proud owner of a 38 foot power boat which could be 10 years old and still push 100 grand, didn't plan to ram a 17 foot boat for fun or purposely.


Yeah well he purposely was out having fun driving a 38 foot boat while intoxicated. A grown man should know better, he made a decision to put others lives at risk on purpouse. That was no accident. He may not have planned to hit the boat but he did plan on drinking alcohol while boating. Its no secret that alcohol is a deadly combination when combined with operating any vehicle. Then he has the nerve to lie and blame his boat after he nearly killed a couple. He is a low life scum bag piece of dirt.


Ovbiously, you have never driven a boat.
You seem to have NO CONCEPT of reality.
If I have a couple beers @ home prior to going out boating and have an accident, it is just that.
If I drink 20 beers and go out and have an accident, it is just that!
Just like driving a car after a drink or more, it is not automatically a long prison term!!
PS...Did you red the article or just jump in as another uninformed and vengeful writer? 100 foot boat????
A lie..........how are you so well informed?


Haha you are funny. You are right you know me well enough to know what I have and have not driven. I have not driven a boat after drinking. You know why? Because it is stupid and irresponsible. Oh yeah and illegal. I'm glad you think it is okay to drink and boat. Alcohol is for losers. It seems indeed that you have no concept of reality.


Wow someone is dense. It is not an accident when you know alcohol causes severe sometimes fatal injury if you choose to operate a vehicle in an area that others are also using. How is that an accident? Its like someone saying they accidentally got pregnant. Sure that may have not been your intention but you still had sex which is how babies are made!


Accident:An unexpected and undesirable event, especially one resulting in damage or harm.

So if the guy knew that collisions are to be expected when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, IT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT!

Back to the Wall

Sorry chopper. Crashing a boat after having a few drinks is not an "accident". It is negligent and should be punishable by prison.
If you drink 20 beers and crash a boat, it is attempted manslaugter.
Wise up before you kill someone.
I think the Arabs have this one right: Summary roadside executions for drunk drivers.


Operating a boat while drinking alcohol is not illegal. You are perfectly legal to consume a beer and operate. You may also have a BAC of .10 not .08 while operating a vessel. This will more than likely change in the near future.


Hey, maybe we should adopt the liberal standard for driving, whether it be a boat, a car, a snow machine, or a flexible flyer - Zero tolerance - If a kid chews a pop tart into the shape of a gun, he's charged; if a couple share a bottle of wine (one of them is 100 lbs), they should be punished - great - meanwhile, a segment of our population is playing the Knock-Out Game, youts are flash-mobbing, people are being assaulted daily in urban areas, and this is what people are worried about?

Obviously, some folks here have never left the cocoon of West Michigan they think they despise.


Lighten up troll, it is a comment section where peole leave comments. Why dont you go out and do something positive. Oh thats right its easier to sit around and whine like a little girl.


Yes Ma'am - So sorry that I dared express an opinion contrary to yours - I'll try to keep in mind that I shouldn't question my betters in the future - KMA!!


Vlad I am okay with you opinions. All you do though is troll this site and post your right wing hatred for democrats and liberals. For crying out loud this story has nothing to do with politics yet you managed to throw out disparaging remarks. All I am saying is you are obsessed and honestly you sound like a broken record. It is amusing though to watch you and lanivan go back and forth. Just please keep to articles pertaining to politics.


Hey I got it!! Lets just shoot this guy too! Loaded gun, loaded on his boat, same thing....Right? That will teach him by God!

Look there's even a nit wit up there, who has a broken caps lock key with the handle "Castthefirststone". Is that Irony or what!??

What a sorry lot. Y'all better hope there ain't a god, or you clowns are gonna be having a real bad hereafter.......


Douchebag huh, how old are you? 10?


I wasn't referring to you, but if you want to jump in here as his lawyer than knock yourself out. You give me a word that you like. I wasn't aware there were certain words to use depending on your age. I was speaking in a manner someone of his obvious upbringing would probably understand. The other ones I thought of were less complementary.

Ya know, come to think of it, they'll probably pull that in the morning so I'm gonna change it now, just for you, cuz you're special. That way it won't go away before Mr CTFS gets to read it.

Thanks for the tip.


Isn't that the name of a clown down in Florida??
Please get in touch with reality.
You have so much time to attack and call people names, you must be Obama's assistance plan.

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