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Mon, 01 Jul, 2013 12:00:18 AM
Helmsman sleeps onboard
FTimes-STT Report, July 1
The Dutch ship Crown Many was plying in the sea when its captain was sleeping early Sunday. Photo Lehtikuva
The Finnish coastguards have saved a Dutch cargo vessel minutes before it was about to ram into the coast of Saaristo Sea after the captain onboard slept through the night keeping the vessel running, officials said Sunday.
 
The coastguard patrol prevented the Crown Mary vessel, heading towards the coast with the captain sleeping,  only 20 minutes ahead the ship was about to hit the coast.
 
Sources said the Sweden Härnös bound ship was plying through wrong direction and running around the sea before the midnight of Saturday and did not respond to repeated signals given by the Maritime Traffic Centre.
 
West Finland coastguard boats and helicopters escorted the ship and asked the captain to stop it as the ship was approaching to shallow water. There was no response from the captain.
 
They also warned other vessels to ply carefully to avoid collision with the Dutch ship, sources said.
 
At certain stage a nearby ship and a coastguard helicopter drew attention of the crews of the vessel by using floodlights and the ship changed its direction to avoid the accident.
 
Coastguard officials said that the Ukrainian captain of the ship was sleeping and suspected that he was sleeping while operating the ship over the influence of alcohol.
 
 The captain was taken to Maarienhamina for blood test and the results will come after few weeks
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