'Drunken' sailor in the dock in New Zealand

Containers sit stacked at a port terminal with residential houses behind in Wellington, New Zealand, on July 2, 2017.
Containers sit stacked at a port terminal with residential houses behind in Wellington, New Zealand, on July 2, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

WELLINGTON (AFP) - The British captain of a cargo ship found himself in hot water on Saturday (Aug 5) as he appeared in court, accused of being drunk while trying to berth the vessel at a New Zealand port.

The captain, a 53-year-old Englishman from Devon, had "an exceptionally high" breath alcohol reading, police said in a statement.

The police were called after the pilot assisting with the docking of the 40,000 tonne Shansi became concerned that the captain was under the influence of alcohol.

The limit for a "seafarer" is 250 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath and any breach carries a 12-month jail term or an NZ$10,000 (S$10,106) fine.

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The man made a brief appearance in the Whangarei District Court on Saturday and was remanded on bail to reappear on Monday.

The vesselfinder.com website lists the Shansi as 200m long with a 28m beam and is sailing under the flag of Singapore.