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.”
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