A Wisconsin native living in Hawaii is facing serious criminal charges after allegedly leaving his recreational diving clients alone in the ocean during a night dive. Officials in that state say that the man is charged with OWI in connection with the incident, as he was believed to have been intoxicated when he abandoned the participants who had paid for the exotic excursion.
The man, age 30, is accused of inexplicably ditching his 30 clients in the ocean during a nighttime manta ray viewing trip. Clients had paid about $100 each for the experience. They were horrified to watch their boat captain drive away from the group during the trip on March 5.
Authorities said that another boat captain intercepted the man and his boat, the Sea Wolf, as he was drifting offshore. The boat captain is facing OWI charges in connection with the incident; the other tour guide found him dazed, but he appeared to have been unhurt. The other tour guide towed the man’s boat back to shore, where officers apprehended him in connection with the OWI charge. The boat operator has since been released, though an investigation into the matter is still ongoing.
As for the divers: They were retrieved by another tour boat captain in the area. News reports indicate that they were returned safe and sound, though the experience is not necessarily one they would want to repeat.
Wisconsin residents may be arrested for drunk driving while operating their vehicles on the road, but they are also vulnerable to OWI charges when they are at the helm of a boat. Criminal defense attorneys in Wisconsin may be able to provide these defendants with assistance in local court. It is important to remember than an arrest for drunk driving charges does not mean that the defendant is automatically considered guilty.
Source: Huffington Post, “Hawaii Tour Boat Captain Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI After Ditching Divers” No author given, Mar. 10, 2014