Melbourne: A 36-year-old Indian-origin sailor was today slapped with a hefty fine of 3000 dollars in New Zealand for operating a ship under the influence of alcohol which was five times the permitted limit.
Parmod Kumar, ship master in charge of a 37,000 tonne fertiliser carrier pleaded guilty for operating a ship with an excess breath alcohol when he appeared in Tauranga District Court.
When Kumar was breath tested by police while the ship was docked at the Port of Tauranga he was found to have an alcohol reading of 1229 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.
The permitted limit is 250 mg.
Judge Robert Wolff told Kumar that the consequences of his offending were significant in terms of potential risk to the other 22 crew, the public and to the environment.
"The fine of 3000 New Zealand dollars (USD 2,200) would be paid today as Kumar was expected to fly to Mumbai this evening," the judge was quoted as saying by The New Zealand Herald.
Maritime New Zealand welcomed the sentence saying it should send a strong message to the industry.
"This sort of conduct by the master of a vessel cannot be tolerated," Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch said.
"The vast majority of masters take their responsibilities very seriously, but in this case it was clear that firm action was required."