Chinese Ship captain gets 5-years for Fatal Collision

Collision kills 15 mariners on anchored ship.

Wang Yongguo, captain of the M/V JINYUANYOU 9, a cargo ship owned by the China Ocean Aviation Group Inc., was accused of negligence and misjudgment, according to the No.2 Intermediate People's Court of Shanghai.

The court has upheld a lower court’s decision in which Captain Wang was sentenced to five years in jail. According the court documents, the Captain took his ship out of an estuary along the Yangtze River at about 1:15 a.m. on January 30, 2008, but failed to detect the M/V JINTAISHUN, which was anchored nearby.

The court determined that Yang made a series of errors as he tried to avoid the collision. 15 of the 17 crew on the JINTAISHUN died while another is missing and presumed dead. Yang’s ship had no casualties. After the accident he surrendered to the police and was eventually sentenced five years in jail during his first trial. That decision was upheld in his appeals trial.