In what might be the most Russian story of all time, a Russian officer crashed a 423ft cargo ship at full speed in Scotland after he’d drunk half a litre of rum prior to his shift.
According to the Independent, the Lysblink Seaways vessel was travelling from Belfast to Skogn in Norway with a cargo of paper when it ran aground off the west coast of Scotland near Kilchoan on February 18, earlier this year.
An investigative report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found the chief officer on watch was alone on deck at midnight and had reportedly consumed the large amount of spirits prior to his shift which caused him, not unexpectedly, to become inattentive.
Because the 36-year-old Russian sailor wasn’t on top of his game, the ship ended up running aground into the rocky foreshore, where it was stuck for two days because of bad weather.
The vessel was so damaged following the crash, it actually had to be scrapped, plus the damage to the tanks led to 25 tonnes of marine gas oil spilling into the water. And you thought the time you nicked a traffic cone after drinking too much was bad!
According to the Mail Online, the DFDS company, who owned the ship, understandably runs a zero tolerance alcohol policy for employees but this particular officer gave no fucks about any of that and managed to drink enough rum to put him eight times over the legal limit.
A DFDS spokesman said:
What happened on the ship was completely irresponsible. We have a very clear and very clearly communicated zero-tolerance alcohol policy which cannot be misunderstood. We have never seen an officer having violated the policy before and we have never before seen such negligence of our safety procedures. The officer is no longer employed by DFDS. We hope this will not cast a shadow over our other officers who rightfully enjoy a very good reputation.
The ship’s owners have now removed bonded stores of alcohol on some of its sister vessels in the hope that this won’t happen again.
This also gives us the answer to that age old question: “What shall we do with a drunken sailor?” You fire him. Obviously.