Cruise ship captain suspended after testing positive for alcohol following collision

Nippon Maru Image: MarineTraffic.com/kenro oshita Nippon Maru

The captain of a Japanese-flagged cruise ship that struck a pier at a US Navy facility in Guam on the night of December 30, 2018, was found to have consumed alcohol over the legal limit during testing following the incident.

The collision, which left both the pier and the Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) vessel Nippon Maru (pictured) damaged, is being investigated separately by the US Coast Guard (USCG) and the US Navy.

USCG officials have disclosed that its inspectors administered a breath test to Nippon Maru’s captain four to five hours after the incident in accordance with protocol and discovered that his alcohol level was well in excess of the legal limit of 0.15 milligrams per litre.

The captain defended his actions, claiming that he drank the alcohol only after the collision to calm his nerves.

MOL has suspended the captain while the investigation is still ongoing, the company said in a statement.

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