What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

More than four times above the legal alcohol limit, a British cargo ship captain has been fined and suspended.



Anthony Baker was breath-tested after harbour staff noticed he “smelled of alcohol” while berthing his vessel in Auckland.

The 53-year-old Baker, from Devon in the United Kingdom, subsequently admitted breaching New Zealand’s maritime law – and was fined 3,000 NZ dollars.

“Safety is paramount. If you are over the alcohol limit you will be prosecuted,” said Maritime NZ’s Northern Regional Manager Neil Rowarth.

“A shipping accident can have tragic and widespread consequences. It endangers the crew, seafarers on other ships – and the environment. It can do serious damage to local economies and communities.

“Alcohol impairs judgement – and increases the risk of accidents. Where we find seafarers over the limit, we will take action.”

Baker was not on duty when the 200-metre boat, Shansi, was due to berth, but was called to the bridge amid engine and anchor problems.

He has since been suspended by his employer, having registered 1,345 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The New Zealand limit is 250.

In 2005, Baker was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.