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NATION IN BRIEF : PUERTO RICO : Tug Skipper Admits Guilt in Oil Spill

November 05, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A tugboat skipper pleaded guilty to negligence charges for letting a barge run aground in January, spilling nearly 800,000 gallons of oil into the Atlantic Ocean off Puerto Rico. As Roy McMichael entered the plea in U.S. District Court in San Juan, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a report concluding he shared blame for the spill, which has cost at least $86 million to clean up. The barge ran aground on reefs off the coast of San Juan that ripped open its tanks. More than 600,000 gallons spilled in the first few days. The rest spilled when the Coast Guard pulled it off the reef and then sank it north of Puerto Rico.

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