ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - The captain of the shrimp boat that ran aground on Atlantic Beach last month was charged with boating under the influence and five other charges. .
Kenneth Thomas, 27, was operating the "Joe Bip" when it grounded on the beach the night of Aug. 20. When Atlantic Beach police arrived and smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him, he was placed in handcuffs.
According to the report, after Thomas convinced officers to take off the handcuffs so he could shut off the boat's engine, he urinated, shut off the engine, then jumped over the rail and swam off.
The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies searched for Thomas for 10 hours until his mother called to say he was safe.
IMAGES: Shrimp boat on beach
After the case was investigated and an arrest warrant was signed, officers found Thomas hiding in the closet of an Atlantic Beach apartment last Thursday.
Crews spent two days getting the "Joe Bip," back out to sea.
Vernon Potts, whose family owns the boat, said because the boat is fiberglass, it not sustain too much damage. And overall, he's pretty understanding of the situation.
"This ain't the first thing, first time I saw this happen," Potts said. "People working long days, working nights and days, you know, it's going to happen."
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