Man Accepts Plea Agreement of Littering From Destroyed Boat

“I mean it was a unfortunate incident, but we’re just really happy to see how strong the community support was for cleaning that area up.”

A man grounded his boat in Lake Michigan. It’s breaking apart and washing up on several local beaches.

We first brought you the story last spring when Randall West’s 76-foot wooden boat became stranded and ended up breaking apart.

It sent litter across miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline in Mason County.

We’re told it happened one mile north of the Big Sable Lighthouse at the Ludington State Park.

Since then, pieces of debris have been found through Hamlin Township to Ludington and even parts of Pere Marquette Township.

West who is from Grayling, has now taken responsibility to littering and in exchange a charge of reckless operation of a vessel has been dropped.

“It ran aground on the shoreline about a mile or so above Big Sable Lighthouse and when the boat ran aground it became stranded there, then eventually broke up during the heavy storms,” said Jim Gallie, Ludington State Park manager.

The Mason County Prosecutor says Randall West didn’t remove the boat in a timely fashion. Since then, debris has been showing up on the shoreline.

“The biggest impact was probably to the beach users themselves, this boat had a lot of sharp screws, brass screws, stainless steel screws, glass, sharp metal, that washed up on the shoreline and made it difficult for people to use it,” said Gallie.

West took responsibility and owes the state more than $100,000 and 100 hours of community service.

Beach goer Andrew Beck said, “I think it obviously would of been a lot easier if he would of just picked up his mess, went about it the right way. Save it from having to wear shoes on the beach because that’s not very convenient for any visitors,” said Beck.

Another beach goer, Glenn Lambert, said his wife tries to clean up the beaches. “With debris, there’s a lot of kids barefoot on the sand, and my wife, who I’ve nicknamed beach janitor or earth mother, whenever we go on hikes she’s got a plastic bag that she fills with anything. Trash, sometimes we come across nails, rusty cans and glass from pop bottles,” said Lambert.

The state park advises wearing shoes and to be on the lookout for debris.

“We got as much as we could. But I think we’ll be seeing this for years to come,” said Gallie.