Date: May 19, 2006
Bruise: Intoxicated Captain
Bruise Location: Seattle
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Periklis Petridis, age 47, is a cruise ship captain from Greece.
A Coast-Guard inspector was aboard the Mercury shortly before 2:30 p.m. to follow up on a previous safety violation involving a life boat lift. The inspector smelled alcohol on the captain's breath and notified staff at Coast Guard headquarters.
The captain of the Mercury, Periklis Petridis was removed from command today, Friday May 19, 2006, after the U.S. Guard board his vessel and found him drunk on duty, right before the captain was due to sail the Mercury out of port.
The Mercury takes voyages every week from Seattlle to Alaska in the through the summer, and was docked at Pier 66 in Seattle at the time of the inspection.
He failed four breath tests, with a blood-alcohol level as high as 0.18, federal prosecutors said. The legal federal maritime limit is 0.04.
Federal maritime law makes it illegal to operate a vessel in U.S. waters with a blood-alcohol content level above 0.04, which represents roughly what a 170-pound man might register up to three hours after consuming a 12-ounce beer.
The captain was immediately replaced with another officer onboard, and was arrested.
Michael Sheehan, a spokesman for parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said in a statement the captain who failed the breath test had been relieved of his command would be dismissed.
Company policy forbids any officer from consuming alcohol within eight hours of reporting for duty, a spokesman said.
The captain was under investigation for a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison for operating a commercial vessel under the influence of alcohol.
Coast Guard Capt. Steve Metruck said it's the first time in 24 years a cruise-ship captain has been arrested in the Puget Sound region on suspicion of such an offense.
The vessel left port 90 minutes late, not leaving until 6:30pm local time,due to the arrest.
UPDATE: AUGUST 2, 2003
He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. He was sentenced to one year of probation and fined $15,000.
In addition to the fine, US Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue on Monday ordered Petridis not to enter US waters as an employee of a commercial vessel without the approval of the Department of Homeland Security for one year.
He served four days in jail.
The captain was fired from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (Celebrity).