British court fines Indian tanker captain for drinking

10th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British court on Friday fined the Indian captain of a partially loaded oil tanker 1,600 pounds (2,500 dollars, 2,000 euros) after he was arrested for being drunk at the helm, maritime officials said.

Rajesh Kuman Singh, 41, pleaded guilty to failing to supply a breathalyser specimen following his arrest early Wednesday as the Nord Fast tanker arrived at a jetty at Fawley oil refinery in southeast England.

The pilot of the 176-metre (580-foot) long, Singapore-registered vessel had called police after becoming concerned about the state of the captain, according to a statement from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Singh failed a breath test and was arrested and taken to a police station, where he recorded a reading of 78 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath -- far above the prescribed limit of 35 microgrammes.

However, he refused to take a required second test.

The magistrates said it was a "very serious matter", although it was mitigated by the fact that Singh had a clean record.

He was fined 1,600 pounds (2,500 dollars, 1,950 euros) plus a further 100 pounds in costs and damages.

© 2010 AFP

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