Chief Officer Was Drunk When Ship Ran Aground

Friday, December 17, 1999
The Polish chief officer of a cargo vessel that ran aground off the coast of Scotland reportedly admitted that he was drunk at the time. Jerzy Pawluk pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge of the Bahamian-registered freighter Roustel and endangering the lives of his crew. Magistrates referred the matter to Newcastle Crown Court, saying that only a prison sentence would be appropriate. The offense - conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals - carries a jail term of up to two years and a fine. He was ordered held on bail. The Roustel ran aground in the early hours of Tuesday morning off the east coast of Scotland between Arbroath and Montrose. After being alerted by the crew, coastguards pulled the 892 gross ton vessel off the rocks. No injuries were reported.
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