AN ‘AGGRESSIVE’ ferry master used his 100-tonne vessel to crush an inflatable boat against the side of Poole Harbour in a 'parking row', a court has heard.

Stuart Cain said he feared he would die when Oliver Jarvis allegedly piloted the yellow Brownsea Island ferry into his 3.8 metre dinghy.

Mr Cain, who had moored the tiny craft while he and his friends stopped for chips at the quayside on the afternoon of September 17 2017, yesterday told a jury: “I fought for my life to get out of there.”

There were passengers aboard the ferry, the Maid of Poole, at the time of the incident, the court heard.

The defendant denies committing an act likely to cause loss or destruction of, or serious damage to, a ship or structure, as well as a second charge of committing an act likely to cause death or serious injury to any person.

On the first day of a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday, Mr Cain said he had been sitting with friends at Poole Quay after a day on the water when he saw the ferry return to the harbour.

As the ferry approached its berth, the vessel’s master Jarvis, 35 and of Lagland Street in Poole, allegedly shouted “aggressively” from the deck at Mr Cain to move the inflatable boat.

Mr Cain dropped his chips and jumped into the boat from the quayside.

As he began to unclip the boat from the harbour wall, prosecutors claim the engines of the ferry fired up, pinning the smaller vessel against the stonework.

The complainant pushed the ferry with his hands to try and free his craft, he told the court yesterday.

Mr Cain said “things changed significantly” when he was aboard his boat as he became aware that he was in “a dangerous position”.

“I physically pushed it away as it was coming on to me. The only defence I had was my own self,” Mr Cain said.

“The ferry was crushing my hand against my engine.”

He said the injury was “the least of [his] worries.”

“I thought at that point I wasn’t going to make it out of there and that my boat would collapse,” he said.

“[The boat] doesn’t have a rigid hull. It’s just inflatable. There’s no ‘rigid’ bit at all - it’s just air and PVC.”

He said he first became aware that he had moored in the Maid of Poole’s berth when Jarvis began shouting from the vessel using an “aggressive tone”.

“He told me to move it or he would tow it away,” Mr Cain said.

“He said ‘Do it now’ in quite harsh terms. I then acted on what I was told.”

Adan Griffiths, prosecuting for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said the ferry weighs 118 tonnes, or 118,000 kilograms. It is licensed to carry 186 passengers, as well as its crew. The inflatable boat weighs 78kg, he said.

Mr Cain managed to escape when Jarvis reversed the ferry, freeing the smaller boat, it was heard.

He told jurors he sustained several injuries and needed to wear a cast on his arm for around five weeks.

The trial continues.