Andrejs Borodins had been in charge of a 1,300 tonne cargo vessel while drunk on board

A ship master who was
caught drunk on board while in charge of a cargo vessel has been jailed for
four months at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Andrejs Borodins was
found to be four times over the legal drinking limit earlier this year as he
attempted to bring the Frifjord into
Dundee Harbour.

The 53-year-old, who’s
first language is Russian, was relieved of his duties after he was suspected of
being drunk by a pilot who boarded the vessel on 28 July to help navigate the
River Tay.

After finding Mr
Borodins incoherent and drunkenly stumbling around, pilot Barry Nisbet alerted
harbour officials and local police.

When the ship docked
in Dundee, the authorities were waiting at the quayside and proceeded to arrest
Mr Borodins.

Fiscale depute Eilidh
Robertson told the court: “The vessel made its way from Perth and at around
7.40pm, in the area of Balmerino, a pilot from Dundee harbour, came aboard.

“He was to guide the
vessel through the shipping lanes at the Tay bridges. Mr Nisbet gave the
accused instructions on how to get the vessel through the shipping lanes and
noted he was unable to carry out instructions and was unsteady on his feet.

“He formed the
impression that the accused was under the influence of something and contacted
Dundee Port Authority who notified police.”

Once on dry land, Mr
Borodins failed a breath test and was taken to police head quarters.

Mr Borodins pleaded
guilty on indictment to a charge under the Railways and Transport Safety Act

His defence solicitor
John Jydd said that Mr Borodins was exhausted from doing back-to-back six-hour
shifts and that was his reason for drinking. The defendant said he doesn’t
normally drink much.

Sheriff Alastair Brown
reduced the defendant’s sentence from six months to four, for his early guilty

Speaking at the court,
Sheriff Brown said: “You put yourself in a condition where you were unable to
discharge your responsibilities as master of the vessel.

“I regard that as very
serious – it is a gross breach of your duty.”