HONG KONG (dpa) – A ferry captain was sentenced to eight years in jail Monday for his role in Hong Kong’s worst maritime disaster in 40 years, reports said.
The court said Lai Sai-ming’s actions were unprofessional for the captain of a fast ferry in busy waters, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.
Lai was Saturday found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter and endangering the safety of others at sea when his boat crashed into another ferry on October 1, 2012.
The collision left 39 people dead, eight of them children.
The captain of the other vessel was jailed for nine months for endangering the safety of others at sea, but was cleared of all manslaughter charges.
Prosecutors accused the two captains of being “grossly negligent” in their navigation, breaching the duty of care and failing to take effective measures to avoid collision, the South China Morning Post said.
During mitigation, Lai’s bar-rister said he was “a man of good character,” who had never committed any offences before the collision, reported the South China Morning Post.