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Drunk in charge

From the Telegraph:

Captain crashed ship 'whilst drunk'
By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 10:17am BST 06/08/2007

A Polish captain is due to appear in court today accused of bring drunk in charge of a cargo vessel which crashed into a North Sea gas platform.

Zbigniew Karkowski, 56, was arrested after the Jork struck the unmanned Viking Echo platform 40 miles north east of Cromer, Norfolk, just before 6pm on Saturday.

Karkowski, from Szczecin, Poland, was held in custody and charged on Sunday night with being drunk in charge of a sea vessel. He is due to appear at Boston Magistrates’ Court today.

Karkowski was one of seven Polish crew who had to be rescued from the 2000-tonne Jork on Saturday evening. The Antigua & Barbuda-registered vessel was carrying grain from Lubeck in Germany to the Humber estuary when it struck the gas platform.

The coastguard was called after reports that the Jork was listing heavily. Six crew members wearing life jackets were plucked from the water but coastguards said the captain had remained on board to try to save the ship before being rescued.

Two coastguard boats and a RAF rescue helicopter, from Wattisham airfield, Suffolk, attended the incident. The 95-metre-long Jork sank in deep water at about 8am on Sunday morning after the boat’s hull burst.

Mario Siano, watch manager at Yarmouth Coastguard, said the hull had burst because wheat grain on board had swelled after getting wet. A spokesman for gas supplier ConocoPhillips said only “very slight” damage had been caused to its platform.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch, part of the Department for Transport, is looking into the cause of the crash.

Re: Drunk in charge

Said on TV he tried to go down with the ship, 4 men went on board and he jumped into the water.
Polish driver, say no more.