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Fisherman nets compensation for mishap

Boat damaged when Navy sub snagged gear

STONINGTON, Conn. -- A Connecticut fisherman will be getting paid for an unusual catch of the day -- a nuclear submarine.

Alan Chaplaski said the Navy has agreed to pay him for damages to his boat from an incident last summer when the USS Montpelier, a 362-foot-long submarine, allegedly snagged his gear and almost capsized the boat.

''I'm satisfied because I got just compensation," Chaplaski said Tuesday. ''They gave me what I asked for."

The Aug. 25 incident occurred 95 miles southeast of Stonington as Chaplaski's boat, the Neptune, was trawling for shrimp.

Chaplaski had originally thought his net had snagged on the bottom, but something began pulling his 150-ton boat backward, causing it to shake violently.

He released the brakes on the steel wire attached to the net and twin 1,000-pound doors that keep the net open. That prevented the boat from capsizing.

Chaplaski said he lost four days of fishing to repair and recover his gear. He then filed a claim with the Navy.

The fisherman declined to say how much money he would receive, but said it was ''fair compensation" for the lost time and damaged equipment.

''It was no bonanza," Chaplaski said. ''We didn't ask for thousands of extra dollars. We just wanted to get paid for our time and materials."

Chaplaski said the Navy did not give him any information about what it found during its investigation of the incident.

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