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Tugboat owner pleads guilty for sunken tug that leaked fuel in Bainbridge marina

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The tugboat Chickamauga in Ballard in October 2011. (Photo: Joe Mabel/commons.wikimedia.com)

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — The owner of a historic tugboat that sank and leaked hundreds of gallons of fuel has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

The Kitsap Sun reports (http://goo.gl/YCAK7i ) Anthony R. Smith pleaded guilty Monday to multiple counts of causing a vessel to become abandoned or derelict and discharging polluting matter into state waters.

Smith was the owner of the Chickamauga, the country’s first diesel-powered tugboat when it was built in 1915.

The Attorney General’s office says the Chickamauga is believed to have spilled 200 to 300 gallons of diesel fuel when it sank in October 2013 in the Bainbridge marina. The office plans to ask for over $54,000 at a September restitution hearing to recoup money spent on recovering and destroying the boat.

Smith was working in Alaska at the time.