THE Captain of a Red Funnel ferry which ploughed into a yacht said "I'm the dog's badoodahs out on the Solent", a court heard this week.

Capt Ian Drummond sat 'static' in his chair as the 305ft Red Funnel vessel smashed into the 32ft motor cruiser and forced it to tilt with four passengers inside, prosecutors said.

Smashed glass was flung across the yacht, hurling the terrified family of sailors to the ground as it tipped about 70 degrees and nearly capsized.

But Capt Drummond remained completely unaware the Isle of Wight-bound Red Falcon had crashed into the yacht during its journey across the Solent from Southampton.

The 62-year-old only learned of the collision just before his vessel arrived in Cowes.

Prosecutors allege Capt Drummond, who began sailing in 1972, would have spotted the yacht if he had ordered a 'simple lookout'.

He also failed to view CCTV 'immediately' in front of him.

Prosecutor Oliver Willmott said: "He had been on the Solent, working this route, for many years. They are notoriously busy waters, there's an enormous amount of traffic.

"If there had been a proper lookout, the vessel would have been sighted and avoided.

"He could have moved around. This is a vessel with blind sectors. Good seamanship dictates that the lookout is mobile and not static."

Capt Drummond rejected allegations he made a mistake, and said he was 'good at his job' and nothing similar had happened in his career. He had sailed the round-trip about 6,000 times previously.

When quizzed by the coastguard following the incident, he said: "I don't know what to feel guilty about. I'm as good as it gets. I'm the dog's badoodahs out on the Solent."

Asked why he had remained 'static' in his chair during the journey, he replied: "It was my bloody seat."

Capt Drummond said: "I did not have any reason to get out of my chair. I had an excellent position there, I could see everything around me and I had no reason to investigate anything further.

"It is the best position on the bridge. The chair is superb."

The court heard yacht owner Mr Jackson has since received a caution for failing to keep a good lookout on the Solent, but a prosecution was not brought as he was not a professional master.

Capt Drummond, of Southampton, denies misconduct of master likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals, and being the master responsible for conduct of a vessel contravening the Merchant Shipping regulations on September 29, 2018.

The case has been adjourned until December for written submissions and the judge to consider his verdict.

Red Funnel said the company would comment after the conclusion.

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