Captain of stranded ship was drunk

Empty tanker slammed into sandbar near Øresund Bridge travelling at full speed, authorities say

The Russian captain of a Maltese-flagged oil and chemical tanker that slammed full speed into a sandbar just north of the Øresund Bridge yesterday was drunk. Doctors examining the captain following the incident said he had a blood alcohol level of 0.22 percent – more than four times the legal limit of 0.05 percent.

“He was so drunk that the doctor did not dare let him leave the ship using a rope ladder,” Henrik Orye of the Copenhagen Police department told the Newspaq news bureau.

The 146-meter long “Terry” was bound for Riga when it ran aground on the sandbar just off the coast from Kastrup. The ship was sailing empty and the Navy said there is no danger of spills. A Swedish environmental plane doing a flyover reported no sign that the ship was taking on water.

The ship hit the sandbar doing a full 11 knots, but because its hull is reinforced for sailing in icy waters it suffered little damage in the collision with the Øresund’s sandy bottom.

 “The ship had so much momentum that it lifted a meter into the air when it hit the sand bank,” Oyre said.

The shipping company has flown in a new skipper to take command of the ship once it is released by law enforcement authorities.

The captain is charged with drunken sailing, and is being held at a Copenhagen jail pending a preliminary hearing today.