Captain was drinking on duty

Photo: Norwegian Coast Guard

Photo: Norwegian Coast Guard

The captain and mate of the vessel ”Petrozavodsk”, the Russian freezer ship that Monday ran aground by the coast of the Bear Island in the Barents Sea, are both charged for breaking the Maritime Code.


The captain is charged for drinking alcohol while on duty. A preliminary blood-alcohol test showed a level of 1.3 ‰. He admits to have been drinking after the accident, while still on duty, Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation reports.

The vessel’s mate is charged for sleeping on duty, so that the vessel entered a protected area and ran aground. He is also charged for drinking while on duty.

According to the Governor of Svalbard, the vessel’s manoeuvres looked so suspicious that it was decided to take blood samples of the officers. The satellite tracks show that the vessel held steady course straight towards the shore, NRK reports.

As BarentsObserver earlier this week reported, dead and injured seabirds have been spotted around the vessel, which had 54 cubic meters of oil as well as other petroleum substances on board.

To all luck, it now seems like the accident had smaller consequences for the environment than what first was feared. The Norwegian Coast Guard reports to NRK  that there is no diesel oil to be seen on the ocean surface around the damaged ship, which means that the oil has evaporated or dispersed in the sea.

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