Cruise Ship Blocked From Port by Boat in Shipping Lane: It's Our 'God-Given Right to Go Up and Down this River as Dubliners'

A 4,000-ton cruise ship was blocked from entering a port in Dublin, Ireland, by a small sailing boat of drunk men zigzagging in its way, a court has heard.

Dublin District Court was told how the near 300-feet-long Corinthian vessel was prevented from going down the shipping lane on the morning of June 1, 2017, due to a 26-foot pleasure craft refusing to get out the way.

When authorities were called to assist, one of the men allegedly told a lifeboat skipper it was "their God-given right to go up and down this river as Dubliners," reports the Irish Times.

Defendants Brian Stacey, 46, who owns the boat, and Ronan Stephens, 42, both of Crumlin, Dublin, face charges under the Maritime Safety Act and the Public Order Act due to their alleged intoxication and behavior during the incident.

The men are accused of taking the small boat into the shipping lane on the River Liffey after docking at a south Dublin sailing club.

Dublin Port harbor-master Michael McKenna said that the Corinthian cruise ship could not travel through the shipping lane because the boat was zigzagging down it.

Mark McGibney, skipper of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) told the court that he was called to assist with the incident at Dublin Port.

He said he advised the small boat to get out of the fairway, a lane in a harbor which ships can pass through, and head back to the side of the river. After sailing and docking at a nearby yacht club, the boat then traveled back out towards the fairway, at which point the police were called.

One of Dublin's pilot and patrol boats was leading the cruise ship at the time.

McGibney added that when he approached the boat, he was met with a chorus of obscenities from the men on abroad while they claimed it was their "God-given right" to go up and down the river as they wished.

One RNLI witness also told the court that that while the boat was traveling "little more than walking speed" at the time, the erratic way it was traveling and lack of horse power for getting out of the way meant there was still a worry it could have collided with the cruise liner.

The defendants were charged with being under influence of alcohol and failing to stop for police while being the operator of a boat, navigating the craft without due care and attention, and endangerment of a RNLI lifeboat crew in the shipping lane on the River Liffey.

They deny all the charges against them. The trial continues on June 18.

cruise Dublin
A damaged tourist river boat can be seen docked next to a cruise liner after they collided on June 2 in Venice, Italy. A cruise ship was delayed entering Dublin Port due to a small boat zigzagging in its path, a trial has heard. Getty/Simone Padovani/Awakening