The captain of an MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co boxship has admitted being drunk on his vessel at the port of Felixstowe in the UK.

Zbigniew Chowaniec, a Polish national, was arrested on 15 January after the 4,882-teu MSC Roshney V (built 2007) arrived at the UK port, the BBC reported.

Ipswich Magistrates’ Court was told that a breathalyser test found the 65-year-old was nearly four times over the legal alcohol limit.

The master pleaded guilty on Tuesday and will now be sentenced at Crown Court in February.

The container vessel had arrived from the port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium.

The Liberia-flag ship has since left the UK port and is en route to Canakkale in Turkey.

The court heard that Felixstowe port officers boarded the 294-metre vessel at about 07:15 GMT on Monday.

They found that Chowaniec smelled strongly of alcohol.

He was arrested and taken to Martlesham police investigation centre, where the alcohol test produced a reading of 93 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit for seafarers, which is set by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention, is 25 micrograms.

Chowaniec was granted conditional bail and was required to surrender his passport.

MSC told TradeWinds it has a strict zero-tolerance policy with regards to alcohol on duty.

The master’s contract has been terminated as a result, and a replacement brought in “to ensure the operation of our vessel is not impacted.”

A spokesperson said: “We take such incidents extremely seriously and wish to thank the authorities and the Port of Felixstowe for their support.”