Friday, April 12, 2013

Ship’s Capt. Pleads Guilty to Drunken Sailing

The captain of a 600-foot commercial vessel pled guilty April 9 after he was nabbed at the Port of Portland commanding the ship with a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than four times the limit for persons operating vessels on the water.

Valeriy Sharykin, a 62-year-old Russian citizen, entered his plea April 9 in US District Court in Portland and was sentenced to two years’ probation by Judge John Acosta.

Sharykin was the licensed Vessel Master on the Adfines East, a 602-foot commercial vessel, weighing over 24,000 gross tons and sailing under the flag of Malta.

He was charged with negligent operation of a commercial vessel, a class-A misdemeanor, after US Coast Guard officials conducting an official inspection of the vessel on April 8, 2013, suspected he 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 on him and then took him into custody after determining Sharykin’s blood alcohol content that was more than four times the legal limit.

“Operating a 24,000-ton, 602 foot ship with a blood alcohol level more than four times above the (0.4 BAC) limit is beyond reckless, it’s potentially deadly,” US Attorney Amanda Marshall said. “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.”

In addition to the probationary term, Sharykin’s sentence includes a condition that he not sail waters under US jurisdiction, and that he pay a $1,000 fine to the court and $1,000 to a community alcohol treatment facility.