New Zealand: Captain Sentenced for Exceeding Alcohol Limit

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A captain of an oil and chemical tanker has been sentenced and removed from his position as Master for exceeding the alcohol limit, according to a report from Maritime New Zealand.

The New Plymouth District Court has fined Saurabh Kumar Singh NZD 1,000 for exceeding the alcohol limit for a seafarer. He was the Master of Panama-registered SG Pegasus, which was scheduled to depart New Plymouth on the evening of December 11.

New Plymouth pilots became concerned at Singh’s behaviour when they boarded SG Pegasus to help guide the tanker out of New Plymouth Harbour. The pilots contacted Maritime NZ’s local Maritime Officer who attended on board with Police. The Master failed an initial breath test on board and was then taken to the local police station for an evidential breath test which he also failed. Police subsequently prosecuted the man on behalf of Maritime NZ.

The Master had a reading exceeding 880 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, breaching the Maritime Transport Act limit of 250 micrograms for seafarers on board international ships. The Master was also in breach of shipping company Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Singapore’s policy that the vessel is a ‘dry-ship’, meaning that no alcohol can be onboard at any time.

The tanker was due to sail on to Nelson and then Lyttleton but Maritime NZ ordered that the vessel remain in New Plymouth while a replacement Master was put on board in order to meet safe manning standards.

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