Russian Master Drunk While in Command

January 12, 2010

Late on Jan. 7, ABP notified the Maritime & Coastguard Agency via Solent Coastguard after concerns were raised that a vessel Balu C was not being managed correctly on its passage into a berth at the port.

The Master of the Balu C, Valery Semenov, was breathalysed by the Police upon arrival into Southampton Port, and he was found to have 94 microgrammes (mg) in 100 millilitres of breath. In the case of breath, 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres is the legal limit. Therefore Semenov, a 52 year old Russian national was nearly three times that legal limit.

The Balu C is a 2008 built general cargo ship registered in Antigua and Barbuda. Her deadweight tonnage (carrying capacity) is 8,045 tonnes. She was on passage from Amsterdam to Southampton with a cargo of grain with a crew of 12.

At Southampton Magistrates Court on Jan. 8, Semenov pleaded guilty and was fined $3,233 plus $162 costs. He has also lost his job and income of $80,841 pa.

The Magistrates said: “He was in charge of a large vessel with twelve souls on board, fortunately however there were few physical consequences on this occasion. Mr. Semenov was remanded in custody for a maximum of 45 days, or until the fine is paid in full.”

Captain Jeremy Smart, Head of the Agencys Enforcement Unit said: “The Master of a ship bears a heavy responsibility. To carry out this responsibility whilst under the influence of alcohol is grossly irresponsible. It is fortunate that on this occasion the vessel berthed safely. The MCA will always pursue such cases with great vigour.”

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