Adfines East detained and waiting for new captain, Oregon
Oregon Coast Guard officials said bulk carrier Adfines East will remain at anchor in the Columbia River until a new captain arrives to take control, wrote The Oregonian. Vessel was to leave Portland and US waters in the afternoon Apr 10, but “As part of the sentence, not only can he not sail with the ship, he can’t be on a jet ski in the river,” John Hellberg of U.S. Coast Guard’s marine safety unit in Portland said of Sharykin's status.
Well, the Portland authorities seem to have all the fun they can get from this case. 62-year old Captain is not trusted with his ship anymore in US waters just because he was found intoxicated the day before vessel was to set sail. Vessel was berthed, she wasn’t running around under the drunken steering trying to ground herself or ram nearby vessels. What did Master do before he was arrested, was he hacking off the moorings, was he threatening people around, was he at least, dead drunk? No, he was just intoxicated. Now he’s sober, fined and sentenced, can’t he at least take the vessel out of US waters? Is his replacement a necessity, or blunt outrage? Authorities in US and Europe are on the hunt for intoxicated masters, equaling docked vessels with vessels under way, equaling intoxication with drunkenness, they don’t see any difference. With all that criminalization of alcohol and many other things, seamen, especially masters, are considered and treated by the authorities as suspect criminals of a very dangerous nature.
Are there no real threats left in this world, to fight seamen like they’re terrorists? Authorities are eagerly looking for any opportunity to arrest and sentence seamen, especially officers. Authorities encourage blow-whistling among the crews – a seaman is encouraged to betray his fellow crew on whom, sometimes, his own life depends. Quite often the authorities make the cases out of nothing, with absolute disregard to their own laws. Seamen are fined and sentenced, vessels are detained and their owners are demanded outrageous “fines” to be paid to release the vessels. In piracy such actions are called hijacks, and fines are called ransoms.
What’s next to be considered criminal and punishable? Smoking? Eating fast food? Cursing? Having an offshore account? Not visiting church? It’s a sheer insanity, if you ask me.
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?