Breathalyzed bulker captain enters guilty plea

gavel 340APRIL 11, 2013 —  Valeriy Sharykin, 62, a Russian citizen, and captain of the 36,941 dwt, 24,167 grt, Maltese-flag bulker Adfines East, yesterday pleaded guilty to operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol in the Port of Portland, Oregon.

Adfines East was delivered August 2012 to Nyon, Switzerland, headquartered ABC Maritime AG from its builder, Zhejiang Zhenge Shipyard in China, and fixed on a long time charter to Cargill International SA.

Sharykin was sentenced to two two years of probation, including a condition that he prohibited from sailing, in any capacity, waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. He also agreed to pay a $1,000 fine to the court and $1,000 to a community alcohol treatment facility.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, Sharykin was charged by information with negligent operation of a commercial vessel, a class A misdemeanor.

While conducting an official inspection of the vessel on April 8, 2013, Coast Guard Port State Control examiners from Marine Safety Unit Portland suspected that defendant, the Master of the vessel, was intoxicated based on their observations of his behavior and smell.

Coast Guard law enforcement personnel from Station Portland and Coast Guard Investigative Service responded, used a breathalyzer and took the vessel Master into custody with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) that was over four times the legal limit.

U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall, said: "Operating a 24,000 ton, 602 foot ship with a blood alcohol level more than four times above the limit is beyond reckless, it's potentially deadly. The safety of people, property, and the environment on the Columbia River and all US waterways is a top priority for this office. Those who endanger safety in commercial shipping and maritime will be found and prosecuted. I want to thank the Coast Guard for their prompt and professional investigation of this matter bringing this defendant to justice."

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