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Probation for guilty charter boat owners

Two Massachusetts men who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the 2001 drowning death of an Irish exchange student will not receive jail time.

Joseph Jay Shore, 65, of West Newton, and his son, Cord Mitchell Shore, 39, of Hyannis, were both sentenced Sept. 9 by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel to three years of probation, the first six months of which are to be served in home detention with electronic monitoring. The judge also ordered each defendant to pay a $10,000 fine. Both defendants were ordered to jointly pay restitution to the victim’s family in the amount of $18,690, and to the family’s insurance company in the amount of $21,602.

The victim’s family also in September filed a lawsuit against the Shores seeking unspecified civil damages.

Prosecutors were seeking up to six months in prison for the Shores’ role in the death of Catherine Kinsella, 20, an Irish national working on Cape Cod, who fell off the 52-foot vessel they chartered, Sea Genie II. Prosecutors maintained the Shores, who did not immediately notify authorities of a person overboard, were responsible for Kinsella’s death.

According to prosecutors, the Shores set off July 22, 2001, on the Sea Genie II with the elder Shore as captain and the younger at the helm. The number of passengers exceeded the vessel’s licensed capacity with fewer than adequate life preservers, and the vessel provided alcohol to mostly underage passengers, according to prosecutors.

The Sea Genie II weighed anchor inside the Hyannis Port breakwater, but the younger Shore failed to monitor the radar properly and was not aware as the boat drifted into a moored sailboat, causing the boat’s starboard railing to break, according to prosecutors. The crew failed to repair the rail and failed to inform the passengers it had broken, according to prosecutors. Shortly thereafter, Kinsella fell overboard through the broken rail. The Shores reportedly undertook a search, but did not notify the Coast Guard for nearly 50 minutes. Passengers say they heard Kinsella cry for help as Cord Shore instructed several passengers to collect beer cans on the boat. The Coast Guard and Barnstable Police Department located Kinsella, but she was not breathing, had no pulse and was never able to be resuscitated. The water was around 58 degrees, according to prosecutors.