UPDATE: The captain of M/V Union Moon, plead guilty to excess alcohol by the master of a ship Friday morning. The captain, Miroslaw Pozniak, 55, from Poland, will remain in custody until at least Monday when it will be dicided if bail will be set.
Original: The captain of a cargo ship has been arrested in Northern Ireland after authorities found him to be drunk when his ship collided with a much larger passenger ferry.
The collision occurred near the mouth of Belfast Lough at about 7:45 pm local time between the 1,543 gross ton M/V Union Moon and the 21,856 gross ton Stena Feronia passenger ferry.
Lifeboats from the Bangor and Donaghadee Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), who were on a training exercise nearby, quickly rushed to the scene to assess the damage.
The Stena Feronia escaped with relatively minor damage above the water line and a bit of scare for the 51 passengers that were inbound from Liverpool to Belfast. Luckily no injuries were reported.
The M/V Union Moon on the other hand did not fare so well. Not only did the vessel sustain extensive damage to its bow in the collision, but the captain was arrested after failing a breathalyzer test.
BBC has reported that the Stena ferry has now docked at the Stena terminal and the Union Moon was accompanied by the coastguard back to Belfast.
The 55-year-old captain is due to appear in court Friday and has been charged with excess alcohol by the master of a ship.
Here’s a look at what the RNLI lifeboats found when the arrived on scene:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QNdhOq-WjY[/youtube]