Drunk Captain Runs Ship Aground in Germany
German media have reported that the inland vessel Elsava struck a bridge across the river Main at Lohrer, and became stuck transversely between a pillar on the center span and the riverbank, in a combined allision and grounding. The vessel's bow was pushed high up on the bank.
Photos of the unusual final position of the grounded vessel are available here.
The police responding to the incident noticed the smell of alcohol on the captain's breath. Authorities administered a breathalyzer test and found a blood alcohol concentration of 1.5 parts per thousand, or 0.15 percent.
The reading value was about twice the legal limit for driving in the United States (0.08 percent) and slightly higher than the level recorded in the arrest of the captain of the Tonic Sea in 2015.
The CDC suggests that a blood alcohol level in the 0.15 percent range corresponds to the following symptoms: “Far less muscle control than normal; Vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol); Major loss of balance; Substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing.”
All three crewmembers were uninjured and a single tug was able to pull the vessel free later the same day.
The river was closed to traffic during the incident. The condition of the vessel and the bridge have not been reported, and the investigation is ongoing.
The 1,500 dwt Elsava is owned an operated by Fluvius Shipping and Forwarding of Budapest, an inland firm with six vessels specializing in the Rhine-Main and Danube river corridors.
The firm was not immediately available for comment.