Cargo Ship Crashes Into Port In South Taiwan

On Monday, March 20, a cargo ship of 74,000 tons was en route to the Port of Kaohsiung, but it was unable to slow down in time and struck the wharf. The videos showed a foreign crew member giving the pilot a breathalyser test; the pilot’s initial reading was 0.69 milligrammes per litre.

Others on the team, however, protested that he hadn’t properly exhaled. According to TVBS, the Kaohsiung Harbor Police Department then set up a second breathalyser test, which revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.19 mg/l.

Cargo Ship
Image for representation purpose only

The ship was moving faster than the permitted six knots, according to a news release released on Tuesday (March 21) by the Director of Port Affairs at the Port of Kaohsiung, Kuo Kuang-hui.

Before it crashed against Pier 77 and damaged several facilities for which compensation will be sought, the VTS signal station controller had repeatedly called out on VHF radio to the pilot to warn him.

The pilot was technically not “driving” but rather “consulting” with the captain, in contrast to Taiwanese drivers who are not allowed to have a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.15 mg/l.

In addition, investigations into this matter have been opened by the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board and the Maritime and Port Bureau.

If found guilty, the pilot will have his or her licence suspended for a period of three months to two years in accordance with Article 38 of the Pilotage Law.

On March 22, Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai made the announcement that marine pilots would now have to submit to breathalyser testing before operating any ships or boats.

Reference: Taiwan News, Liberty Times Net

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