Ukrainian man pleads guilty to piloting cargo ship while drunk

A man on Friday pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to operating a 590-foot-long commercial cargo ship while drunk, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In pleading guilty, 51-year-old Vadim Humenyuk of Izmail, Ukraine, admitted he was intoxicated while on duty as the head officer, or master, of the Rainbow Quest, a Gibraltar-registered ship, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The 590-foot long Rainbow Quest was in San Francisco Bay Dec. 10 and preparing to sail to South Korea when a San Francisco Bar Pilot contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to say the captain of the Rainbow Quest appeared to be intoxicated.

Coast Guard investigators then administered sobriety tests to Humenyuk on the night of Dec. 10 and early on the morning of Dec. 11. Humenyuk failed those tests, and was charged with operating a non-recreational vessel under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor.

Humenyuk faces a maximum of up to a year in jail, an additional year of supervised release and a maximum $100,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 3 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

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