Ship captain suspended for collisions during traffic jam

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PORTLAND — A judge has suspended the captain of the Portland Spirit cruise ship for running into other boats during a traffic jam that forced the shutdown of the Redbull Flugtag competition two years ago.

The Oregonian/OregonLive  reported Wednesday an administrative law judge for the U.S. Coast Guard ruled Lowell Gillespie Jr. violated a navigation rule by failing to take appropriate actions to avoid collisions during the Aug. 1, 2015, event.

Gillespie’s merchant mariner credentials were suspended for a month and he will be on probation for a year following the suspension.

About 90,000 people gathered onshore and in the water that year for the Flugtag, a contest that had teams propel their home-made flying machines off a 28-foot platform above the Willamette River to see how far they could go.