Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Booze charge cargo ship crash captain pleads guilty

The captain of a cargo vessel involved in a collision with a StenaLine passenger ferry in Belfast Lough has pleaded guilty to being over the alcohol limit.

Miroslaw Pozniak, 55, with an address in Poland, spoke through an interpreter at a magistrates' court in Bangor, Co Down.

He was captaining the Union Moon which collided with a Stena Line ferry travelling from Birkenhead to Belfast on Wednesday.

Pozniak's solicitor told the court: "It will be a guilty plea in respect of the matter."

There were 51 passengers and 47 crew on board.

Passengers on the Stena ferry said they feared disaster when they were initially warned they may have to abandon the ship, before it was confirmed they could safely complete their journey.

Two RNLI lifeboats were called. Bangor lifeboat launched at 7.15 pm to assist with damage control and assessment.

Donaghadee lifeboat was out on a training exercise when they were requested to also attend the scene of the collision.

The court heard that his record as a captain was clear and that he had fully co-operated with the police during questioning.

His lawyer requested that he be granted bail and suggested his damaged vessel as an address.

But a police constable objected and told district judge Mark Hamill: "We would not see the ship as a suitable address."

The court heard that the vessel is to be impounded in dry dock to be repaired.

The judge sought a decision from the prosecution on whether the case will be handled by the Magistrates' Court or a higher court.

He remanded the defendant in custody to appear again at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph