Ship runs aground near Helsingborg

The first mate of a ship which ran aground near Helsingborg late on Christmas Eve has been arrested on suspicion of being drunk on the job.

According to police, a breath-test taken shortly after the accident showed the man’s blood-alcohol level was too high.

‘He probably fell asleep at his post,” said Leif Nilsson of the northwest Skåne police.

The 82 meter-long vessel Wilson Garston went aground at 6:00pm on Monday night near a breakwater west of the Helsingborg harbour. The coast guard found that the ship’s ballast tanks had been damaged, but no water had been taken onboard.

A towing boat is on the way to the site of the accident, but isn’t expected to arrive before the afternoon of Christmas Day. According to the coast guard, some cargo may need to be dumped in order to free the ship because the rescue boat may not otherwise be able to get close enough to the boat in such shallow waters.

The Wilson Garston is owned by Norwegian shipping company Wilson. The vessel was on its way from Norway to Riga, Latvia with a cargo of stone and gravel. None of the ships eight crew members were injured in the incident.