Crashed cruise ship master suspended for drinking - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Crashed cruise ship master suspended for drinking

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The captain of the Nippon Maru was allegedly drinking before the cruise ship crashed at Apra Harbor last month.

Mitsui OSK Lines released a statement on the suspension of the master in charge of maneuvering after alcohol was found in his blood.

"The company is aware of a report of alcohol use on the day of the accident," according to the Japan transport company. "MOPAS has a stringent drug, alcohol policy that requires personnel to 'abstain from drinking alcohol four hours before performing scheduled duties on the day' and anyone in violation of the policy is subject to immediate removal."

The master is suspended pending the results of an investigation.

On Dec. 30, the cruise ship was leaving the island for Saipan when it hit the U.S. Navy's Delta Pier. More than 500 passengers and crew members were on board at the time. No one was injured.

Investigators said the accident resulted in a large hole near the stern of the ship, above the waterline. The Navy's initial damage assessment of the pier is estimated to be $3 million in dock damage.

The company that operates the cruise vessel said it is looking into the cause and working with the Coast Guard and the Navy to carry out full investigations into the accident. An internal investigation is also underway to determine what contributed to the incident to ensure it does not happen again.

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