Lithuanian captain Eugenijus Tulauskas was found to be up to four times over the maritime limit on board the ship in Belfast

A captain of a container ship has been found guilty of being drunk in charge of the vessel in Belfast.

Lithuanian national Eugenijus Tulauskas, 44, was fined £1,500 at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard he was up to four times over the maritime time limit when he was detained by the Belfast Harbour Police.

The legal limit to captain a boat is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Tulauskas was reported to the police after a pilot, who had come aboard to guide the container ship into port, had smelt alcohol on his breath.

At the time, the captain had denied drinking any alcohol in the previous four hours.

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Tulauskas, who is of no fixed abode, had contested the charge of having excess alcohol while on duty as professional master of a ship on 25 September 2016.

His lawyer argued that he was not on duty at the time of the offence, and that it was “not a case that he was totally incoherent”.

However, the district judge stated she was “satisfied” that there was evidence which showed that Tulauskas was not only the master of the container ship, but was on duty at the time of the incident.

The court heard that Tulauskas, who had a 17 year career as a ship’s officer, had since lost his job.