Boat captain pleads guilty to being asleep at helm

HONOLULU (AP) - An Oahu man is pleading guilty to federal charges that he slept while operating a commercial fishing boat.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Honolulu says Kevin Lam pleaded guilty last week to eight charges of operating the vessel in a grossly negligent manner.

Prosecutors say Lam slept for extended periods in September 2011 while operating the boat on autopilot. While he slept, there was no other lookout or helmsman on watch.

Prosecutors say he risked the lives of his crew and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observer aboard the boat.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren sentenced him to a year of probation and 60 hours of community service. He must receive training if he wants to be charge of a boat again after his probation.

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