An Italian appeals court has upheld the 16 year jail sentence for the former captain of Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino.
Schettino was found guilty of multiple counts of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning passengers on the night that the Costa Concordia cruise ship hit a reef off of the coast of Italy in January 2012. Thirty two passengers and crew members died that night from the shipwreck.
Lawyers on both sides were appealing the original 16 year, one month jail sentence. Schettino’s lawyers were calling for him to be acquitted and the prosecutor was asking for the sentence to be extended to 27 years and three months. Florence’s appeals court upheld the original sentence of 16 years, one month.
The sentence also bars him from working on cruise ships for five years, although it is highly unlikely that a cruise line will offer him a position on a ship.
Even though the sentence was upheld, the three judges who delivered the first verdict ruled that he would not go to prison the appeals process is complete, something that can take years in Italy.
The former captain of Costa Concordia is expected to appeal the appeal court’s ruling.
Schettino was found guilty of taking the 3,000 passenger cruise ship to close to shore where the ship hit a reef killing 32 people.
He also violated the code of the sea by not being the last man off of a sinking ship, a violation that added one additional year to this sentence.
The ship’s recovery ended up being one of the most expensive wreck recoveries in maritime history. Costa Concordia was the largest ship every parbuckled, a process in which a wrecked ship is up-righted. In an operation that took two and a half years, the ship was finally towed to a salvage yard in Genoa, Italy where the ship was dismantled and recycled.
Photo Credit: By Soerfm – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0