Investigations

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Guilty Plea in 1998 Drowning

Daniel Sheehan pleaded guilty to a Federal manslaughter charge in U.S. District Court in White Plains, NY, in connection with a fatal ferry accident on the Hudson River near Nyack, NY, on August 23, 1998. Sheehan, a licensed U.S. Merchant Marine officer, was piloting a water taxi with 29 passengers aboard from Nyack, NY, to Tarrytown, NY, when the boat capsized and one passenger drowned. Sheehan and Joseph Mitlof, the owner of Hudson Valley Waterways, were charged with manslaughter in May 2001 under a Federal law that applies to owners and captains of vessels. Mitlof is currently on trial for those charges as well as for falsely advertising on the Web that this company operated Coast Guard-certified vessels. The indictment charges that the boat lacked required authorization to operate on the Hudson River and was unfit to carry passengers. OIG investigated the case with USCG and the New York State Park Police.