Video: Captain of Grounded Boxship Arrested on Charges of Being Drunk 

captain charged with being drunk when ship grounds
Feeder ship Ragna is reported stuck on the sandy bottom in the Little Belt region of Denmark (Jonas Ipsen/Twitter)

Published Oct 28, 2022 2:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Residents of the eastern Denmark town of Fredericia have been flocking to the shoreline to see the unusual sight of a small container feeder ship aground while the police are reporting that the captain of the 5,200 dwt Ragna is being held on suspicion of “driving” drunk. The 332-foot vessel remains stuck on the sandy bottom with local authorities reporting they are monitoring the ship but the responsibility of freeing the ship is up to its German owner and the operator which is reported to be Unifeeder.

“There was a suspicion that, based on the sailing, there could be a question of alcoholism,” the local police told the media. The police were alerted to the situation and reported that they investigated after the maritime authorities alerted them that the ship was sailing erratically and had initially been heading in the incorrect direction after departing from the port. “We estimated that the captain was under the influence of alcohol, so he is currently under arrest.”

The 24-year-old vessel, which has a capacity of 508 TEU, departed Fredericia around 01:00 Friday, October 28 after having loaded and unloaded containers. According to the AIS signal, it was heading to Bremerhaven. 


(Video courtesy of TV 2 Fyn)


Shortly before 02:00, the vessel went aground 200 meters northeast of Strib in the waterway known as the Little Belt, a common shipping route passing between the Danish Islands. Danish authorities are reporting that the vessel was under no obligation to have a pilot aboard, while local residents told the TV station that they could hear a ship “violently attempting to get free.”

The Defense Maritime Assistance Service reports that they sent a cutter to the scene and inspected the ship for damage and potential pollution. They are reporting no signs of injury or oil pollution. It is unclear from the reports how many crewmembers were aboard the vessel.

The 33-year-old German captain of the Ragna is reported to be in police custody awaiting a hearing. In the meantime, curious onlookers continue to make their way to the shoreline to see his vessel.