Sewol Captain Sentenced to 36 Years of Prison

Captain of the ill-fated Sewol ferry that capsized in April 2014, claiming lives of 295 passengers, mainly high school students, Lee Joon-seok, has been sentenced to 36 years of prison, Yonhap writes.

Joon-seok was charged with homicide by the prosecutors, however the judges of the Gwangju District Court acquitted him Tuesday on that charge, proclaiming him guilty of gross negligence.

The Sewol captain and three of his crew members were put on homicide trial five months ago as they were the first to abandon the ferry when it listed and started to sink, failing to rescue hundreds of passengers on board.

The ship’s chief engineer received a 30-year prison sentence while thirteen other crew members were sentenced to up to 20 years in jail.

The South Korean officials announced that the search for the remains of the missing victims of the Sewol tragedy will be ended as of today, AFP reports.

Up till now bodies of 295 people have been recovered, however, remains of 9 more people are still missing. The search has been called off due to the low likeliness of finding the remains of the missing victims.

An investigation into the incident found that several factors had led to the sinking of the ferry, including an illegal remodelling of the ferry to increase the cargo load,  cargo overloading, and the steersman’s poor helmsmanship,

World Maritime News Staff