Drunken sailor sentenced after wrecking ship in Sweden

A Ukrainian captain who ran his ship aground in southwest Sweden has been sentenced to one month in prison for aggravated drunkenness at sea. According to news agency TT, however, Andrey Sharafonenko, 44, who was found guilty by a district court in Malmo on Monday, will be let off with the 17 days he has already served.

The captain was arrested on 13th August after he ran his 85-metre Dutch ship aground in the Oresund strait that separates Sweden and Denmark. According to prosecutors, Sharafonenko was found to have at least twice the legal navigating limit of 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per litre of blood in his system, although police recorded him to be four times over the limit at the time of his arrest.

Prosecutors defended pursuing the charge of aggravated drunkenness by saying that the tight passage and heavy traffic at Oresund demanded the captain’s full attention. They added that the way he was controlling the ship “posed a significant risk to safety at sea”.

The Dutch ship, known as the Flinterforest, was carrying a 700-tonne cargo of paper rolls from Finland to Scotland when the accident occurred. The 2004 vessel is owned by the Flinterforest shipping company and is managed by Forestwave Navigation and Flinter Management.