The unfortunate Swiss bulk carrier Adfines East, Portlend, Oregon
Russian master of the bulk carrier Adfines East was arrested on Apr 8 13 for being intoxicated during a routine inspection by US Coast Guard officers in Portland, Oregon. Vessel was moored alongside Terminal 4 on the Willamette River, loading grain. The next day Valeriy Sharykin, 62, was taken to court and sentenced to two years of probation during which time he may not sail in U.S. waters. He also must pay a $1,000 fine to the court and $1,000 fine to a community alcohol treatment facility, wrote The Oregonian.
While the captain was still in custody, his vessel, fully loaded and ready for departure, broke free from moorings due to unknown yet reason, and drifted some 1.5 miles into Columbia river, when crew managed to start the engine and drop an anchor. Chief officer tried to take vessel back to terminal, but vessel ran aground on Davis Bar. Vessel was swiftly refloated with the help of tugs and taken to Upper Anchorage, in the morning Apr 9. Vessel seems to be intact with no visible damages. The Coast Guard is investigating the accident.
“Sharykin registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.181, the prosecutor said, more than four times the legal limit of 0.04 for an operator of a commercial vessel” – wrote The Oregonian. Vessel was berthed, not sailing around in a dangerous manner. Captain drank maybe 4 cans of beer or just took two shots of whiskey, say with ship’s agent. Is it a crime? Does it mean shipping will soon be a zero alcohol zone? They may declare all the vessels free from alcohol and tobacco, we all know how prohibitions end. They won’t stop drinking, they won’t stop smoking, they won’t enforce a healthy living on a green planet. Humans can’t be made healthy and happy just by ordering them to become such, whatever are the penalties. It would be interesting to know, by the way, how much are authorities to blame for Adfines East grounding. Would she broke from moorings (why did it happen, anyway) and ran aground with master on board?