Sewol ferry captain, Lee Joon-seok, has said he was in a very “confused” state during the incident, as he started giving evidence in his trial.
The South Korean ferry sank in April 16 and more than three hundred people died, most of them schoolchildren, when the Sewol passenger ferry capsized.
Lee Joon-seok, 69, is charged with negligent homicide – a crime punishable by death in South Korea.
The trial, being held in the city of Gwangju, began in June.
Capt. Lee Joon-seok repeatedly told the court that he was confused and not in his normal state of mind when the ship began to sink on April 16.
He said he had ordered the ship to be abandoned but that the order was not followed. The prosecutors say this contradicts what he had previously told the police.
Investigators have said a combination of cargo overloading, illegal modification of the vessel and inexperienced helmsmanship was behind the disaster.
A less-experienced crew member was steering the ship when it made a sharp turn causing it to list sharply to one side.
The parents of some of the teenagers who died during the incident have been in attendance at the trial.
Eleven other members of the crew are also facing trial on lesser charges.
[youtube 7VRgslbpIXI 650]