Investigation underway after crash near entrance to Belfast Harbour

The captain of 87m cargo ship Union Moon has been arrested after his vessel collided with a passenger ferry near the mouth of Belfast Harbour on Wednesday night.

No one was injured when the cargo ship hit the Stena Feronia ferry in choppy seas at around 7.15pm Wednesday night.

Passengers were told to put their lifejackets on whilst the lifeboats were prepared. Despite sustaining some damage the ferry was able to dock and the 100 people on board were discharged safely.

A passenger said the experience was frightening. “Basically there was a huge thump. People were being bumped about, thrown by the impact – it was huge,” he said. “Then the emergency alarms went off and there was an announcement from the captain that there had been an incident and they were preparing the lifeboats and we were all put into life jackets.”

The witness claims no one from Stena was there to help passengers after the crash. “They should have been there on the ground,” he said. “People were scared.”

The aftermath of the collision was captured on film when a RNLI lifeboat was called to the scene to help with damage control. You can watch the footage below.

The cargo ship, which was bound for Dagenham, was badly damaged above the water line after hitting the ferry in her final leg of the journey from Liverpool to Belfast. BBC News reports that the man arrested in connection with the crash was the captain of the vessel.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said both captains had been breathalysed and an investigation is underway.

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