New Zealand charges master five times over alcohol limit

Auckland: The master of MUR bulk carrier African Harrier (37,800dwt, built 2014) was charged and fined in New Zealand today, for operating the ship while over the legal blood alcohol limit.

Pramod Kumar, from Mumbai, was charged under the Maritime Transport Act for clocking an alcohol reading of 1,229 micrograms, around 5 times over the legal limit.

The vessel arrived at Port Tauranga on Friday, and was due to leave yesterday when Kumar was reported by a port staff member to Maritime New Zealand, who tested him with an onboard breath test kit and then called the police.

Kumar pleaded guilty and was fined NZ$3,000 ($2,286) plus court costs, and is expected to pay and fly back to India today.

Maritime New Zealand director, Keith Manch, said the sentence should send a strong message to the maritime industry, commenting: “This sort of conduct by the master of a vessel cannot be tolerated.”

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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