Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Solent ferry crash skipper 'should have been standing up'

Red Funnel ferry Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Capt Ian Drummond, 62, of Sandringham Road, Southampton, denies failing to keep a lookout

The skipper of a ferry that collided with a yacht should have been standing up to keep lookout, a court has heard.

The Red Funnel ferry was in collision with the 32ft motor-cruiser as it crossed the Solent in September 2018.

Capt Ian Drummond, from Southampton, denies failing to keep a lookout and misconduct of master likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals under the Merchant Shipping Act.

The ferry was heading from Southampton to East Cowes at the time of the crash.

An expert witness told Southampton Magistrates' Court the yacht should have been visible from the ferry.

'Crow's nest'

Capt John Simpson, a master mariner giving evidence as an expert witness, told the court Mr Drummond's view from the chair on the bridge would have been limited.

"It may be referred to as the lookout's chair but it doesn't mean it's the crow's nest," he said.

"If you are aware of the limitations of your position on the bridge as to how much you can actually see, then you need to at least be standing up to eliminate the blind spot which is close to the vessel."

He added: "If you put your nose against the bridge window, you are sure you are not missing anything, which is part of keeping a proper lookout."

Mr Simpson said the motor-cruiser would have been visible at the time, despite glare from the sun and the ferry's blind spot.

"I think she would have been detectable within the glare with the naked eye or with binoculars. The wake is quite discernible," he said.

The trial continues.

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