The captain of a ship that crashed into a passenger ferry in Belfast Lough last month has pleaded guilty to four charges, including being drunk while in command of a vessel.

Miroslaw Pozniak, a 55-year-old from Poland, was alone in the wheelhouse of the ship when it crashed on 7 March, causing $1m of damage to the Stena Feronia, and further damage to his own vessel, the Union Moon.

He was also charged with failing to keep a proper lookout, and failing to safely navigate the lough.

Downpatrick Crown Court was told the offences carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison, and/or an unlimited fine.

No other details concerning the collision - which put at risk the lives of 51 passengers and 47 crew on board the ferry - were given to the court.

Mr Pozniak was released on continuing bail. He will be sentenced next month.