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Man who anchored in Aquatic Park sentenced

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A yachtsman who illegally anchored his trimaran in Aquatic Park Cove in the City was ordered during his sentencing in federal court Thursday not to sail any boat of any kind into the cove in the next five years.

Bryan Pennington, 52, was convicted by U.S. Magistrate Laurel Beeler in San Francisco in a one-day trial last month of three misdemeanor counts of anchoring his boat without a permit for a total of 83 nights between September and April.

Beeler sentenced him to five years of probation and made the order to keep out of the cove a condition of probation. She also ordered him not to violate any federal or state laws during the five years.

The cove on the city’s northern waterfront is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, a unit of the National Park Service system.

Federal regulations for the cove require a permit for overnight anchoring and limits of five nights at a time and 30 nights per year.

The misdemeanors carried a possible sentence of up to six months in jail, but federal prosecutors told Beeler their main concern was keeping Pennington out of the cove in the future for reasons of public safety.

They said in a sentencing brief that Pennington endangered swimmers and historic vessels managed by the maritime park, threatened National Park Service employees and probably fouled the waters of the cove because the trimaran lacked operable plumbing.

In one of the illegal stays for which Pennington was convicted, his boat remained continuously in the cove for more than eight weeks between Dec. 4 and Feb. 9 before it broke loose from its anchor.

In other developments, Pennington has been charged in San Francisco Superior Court with a misdemeanor of threatening National Park Service employees. A Superior Court judge ordered him to stay away from the lands and waters of Aquatic Park until his trial on May 21.

Federal prosecutors said Pennington was arrested on May 3 on suspicion of violating that order by appearing on the shoreline bleachers of the park and is now additionally charged with contempt of court.

In addition, after Pennington’s boat broke loose from its anchor in the cove again on April 14, it drifted into waters in the city’s jurisdiction and was towed by San Francisco police marine officers to the Hyde Street Pier, federal prosecutors said in their brief.

It is now chained to a dock at the Hyde Street Harbor. Pennington owes more than $5,000 in fees to the Port of San Francisco and proceedings for a lien sale of the trimaran have begun, according to the U.S. prosecutors.

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