Drunk Captain Runs Ship Aground at Port of Rostock
On Saturday evening, the captain of the 4,000 dwt specialty cargo vessel Abis Bergen ran her aground on departure at the port of Rostock while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, harbor police say.
Their report indicated that the captain had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and when authorities administered a breathalyzer test, he allegedly registered a reading of 1.5 parts per thousand of alcohol, or 0.15 percent - about twice the legal limit for driving in the United States.
The CDC suggests that a blood alcohol level in the 0.15 percent range results in serious impairment, with symptoms including “far less muscle control than normal" and "substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing.”
"As the captain caused an accident at sea [while] absolutely unfit to drive, an investigation was initiated due to risk to vessel traffic," the police said.
His identity has not been released.
The vessel has since been refloated and returned to the harbor, with the assistance of one tug; she was obstructing the harbor entrance before her removal. No injuries or hull damage were reported.
Abis Shipping, the operator of the Bergen, specializes in unusual / oversize cargoes. Among notable loads, the firm's heavy lift ship Abis Dusavik recently took aboard the historic oceanographic vessel Calypso for a voyage to a repair yard in Istanbul.
Separately, also on Saturday, the Dutch cement carrier Gotland spilled about 30 gallons of fuel into the water at the port of Rostock, creating a surface slick of about 50 feet by 300, local media say. The accident has been attributed to an improperly functioning fuel level gauge or bunkering at excessively high pump power. A criminal suit has been filed against the Gotland’s chief engineer on pollution charges.