The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer woman indicted over seaplane incident

Marian Tillion Beck was indicted on charges of negligent operation of a vessel and attempted interference with the navigation of a sea plane

A federal grand jury in Alaska on Friday returned an indictment charging a Homer woman with negligent operation of a vessel and attempted interference with the navigation of a sea plane.

Marian Tillion Beck, 68, of Homer, faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison if convicted, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Beck was arraigned Friday before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew S. Scoble.

Court documents filed on Jan. 19 say Beck on or about Aug. 23, 2022, “knowingly and willfully” attempted to interfere with Eric Lee, who was operating an aircraft, and operated a vessel in a negligent manner that “endangered the life, limb, or property of a person.” The case is being investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service with the help of the Alaska State Troopers.

A video of the incident, which circulated widely on social media, shows a boat circling a seaplane in Halibut Cove in a way that creates wakes around the plane.

Eric Lee, the operator of the floatplane, told KTUU last year that he was concerned the boat would hit his plane, which was carrying seven passengers. Lee is a co-owner of Alaska Ultimate Safaris LLC.

Beck is being charged with attempted destruction of an aircraft and gross negligent operation of a vessel.

Beck is a co-owner of Kachemak Bay Ferry, Inc. according to documents filed with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development and also owns The Saltry, Inc., a Halibut Cove restaurant established in 1988 and featured in a 2014 article by The New York Times.

More information from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska can be found at justice.gov/usao-ak.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohar@peninsulaclarion.com.

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