PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine lobster boat owner had been drinking and using marijuana and oxycodone before he lost two crew members during a 2014 fishing trip, federal prosecutors said Monday in charging him with seaman's manslaughter.
Twenty-eight-year-old Christopher Hutchinson, of Cushing, Maine, was arrested and charged by indictment.
He was due in court Monday, and it was unclear prior to the appearance if he had retained an attorney.
Hutchinson was owner and captain of the boat, No Limits, which flipped in heavy waves several miles west of Matinicus on Nov. 1, 2014.
Crew members Tomas Hammond, 26, of St. George, and Tyler Sawyer, 15, of Waldoboro, died in the sinking. Hutchinson was later spotted floating on a raft and rescued.
"The indictment alleges that his negligent and unsafe operation of the boat in forecasted dangerous weather and sea conditions and after using controlled substances and alcohol caused the loss of life," the U.S. attorney's office in Portland said.
Seaman's manslaughter is a federal crime used to hold ships' officers accountable for actions that result in deaths. Hutchinson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.