In 2011, the world’s cargo shipping fleet consisted of over 55,000 ships. That same year, U.S. goods and services exports supported about 9.7 million jobs, and had a value of about $2.1 trillion, making the United States one of the largest trading nations in the world.
Now, given the sheer size and scope of the cargo shipping industry, it’s only natural that accidents sometimes happen. Some accidents, though, are a bit more wild than others.
Recently, a Russian maritime officer drank half a liter of liquor — about 11 shots worth — before going on duty and consequently crashing a 7,400-ton, 423-foot cargo ship into a Scottish peninsula, according to a new report from the United Kingdom’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
As a result, about 24 tons of marine gas oil spilled into the area’s waters.
The 36-year-old unnamed chief officer made a private phone call while he was off duty. Apparently, the call “caused him anxiety,” after which he drank half a liter of rum over the course of six hours.
When the officer went on duty at midnight, he wound up deviating from the planned route at 2:22 a.m. and crashing into the New Rock around 2:30 a.m. at a speed of 13.3 knots, or about 15 mph.
No one was injured.
The report revealed that the Russian sailor took a breath alcohol test at 5:20 a.m., which revealed that he was eight times over the United Kingdom’s legal limit. Although the ship’s owner, international trading company DFDS, said it had a “zero tolerance policy” in regards to alcohol, the ship had a bonded store with spirits, beer, and wine that was regularly restocked.
Though the crash may have happened at a speed of just 15 mph, it was enough to damage the ship so extensively that the vessel was destroyed for scraps.
Since the incident, the Russian officer has been let go.
As crazy as the incident was, it was still only one incident. Chances are you can use a global trade directory to find plenty of companies who have never had, nor will ever have, such a problem, and are capable of meeting your needs.