Judge Suspends Mariner's Credentials Again

Gavel at rest

SEATTLE -- The Coast Guard has suspended a Bainbridge Island woman's merchant mariner credentials for the third time in two years.

A U.S. administrative law judge ruled that Cindy Stahl must lose her license for six months for operating her tugboat, Shannon, in Elliott Bay while she was already suspended.

The latest incident occurred Feb. 17, though the punishment wasn't issued until Wednesday. Stahl's credential was suspended Feb. 13, four days earlier, for a violation when she endangered the crew and passengers aboard state ferries by purposely hindering their passage in Elliott Bay. She said she impeded them as an act of civil disobedience in protest of being obstructed while trying to moor the Shannon.

She was given a two-month suspension of her merchant mariner credential, required to attend an anger-management class and placed on probation for two years.

In the latest incident, the Coast Guard overheard Stahl making passing arrangements with other vessels while she was suspended and saw paperwork listing her as master of the tug. A small boat was launched and the Coast Guard boarded the tugboat, which they saw her operating.

Stahl also had been issued a warning letter in March 2013 and had her credential suspended for three months in September 2013, both for other violations of laws and regulations.

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