Princess Cruise Lines agrees to large fine - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Princess Cruise Lines agrees to large fine

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to pay a large fine after one of its ships was accused of striking and killing a humpback whale near Glacier Bay in southeast Alaska. Princess is expected to pay $755,000 in fines and restitution. A court date to finalize a plea agreement is set for Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

Princess is expected to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor of "failing to operate at a slow, safe speed while near humpback whales."

Under a plea agreement yet to be filed, the company would pay a $200,000 fine to the government and $550,000 in "community service restitution" to the National Park Service Foundation. That money would go to an account for Glacier Bay National Park.

A Princess spokeswoman confirms that the company plans to enter the plea agreement. The carcass of a 45-foot humpback was found floating near the mouth of Glacier Bay in mid-July 2001.

A necropsy conducted at the time showed the animal died of massive skull fractures. A Princess vessel, the Dawn Princess, had been operating near two humpback whales a few days before.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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