Skipper loses licence after smoking joint

Kerri Moore

SMOKING a joint at sea has cost a skipper his marine licence for a short period.

Fisherman Michael James Grant, who owns a fishing business, had been at Swains Reef on a work trip when marine police intercepted his vessel on August 2, 2014.

The 39-year-old had been "given a joint as a birthday present" the night before and decided to smoke it while on his vessel.

Grant, who has more than 23 years' experience as a fisherman, was given a random drug test which found the drug in his saliva.

He was charged with having a drug present while driving a vessel and faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.

The court heard Grant told police he was the skipper and had taken the drug.

Grant's defence lawyer told the court when Grant smoked the joint, the boat was anchored and staff was looking after the boat.

His lawyer said that Grant's whole business depended on his marine licence and would have to shut down if he lost it.

Grant, whose business involves exporting live coral trout to China, was fined $400 and his marine licence was disqualified for one month.

Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll told Grant that he "should have known better".

"This becomes a threat to yourself, your crew and everyone at sea," Mr O'Driscoll said.

Topics:  boat cannabis court crime editors picks licence water

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