Captain's Appeal Denied in 2008 Ship Collision Case
Ukrainian captain, Yuriy Kulemesin, must serve his 18-month jail sentence for endangering lives at sea in a fatal 2008 ship collision, according to Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal.
The South China Morning Post noted that the ruling upheld a Court of Appeal judgment last year on one of Hong Kong’s deadliest marine disasters.
Kulemesin’s ship Neftegaz-67 capsized and sank, resulting in the death of 18 crewmen, following a collision with a bulk carrier, Yao Hai. The incident occurred in March 2008 off Lantau Island.
Judges rejected Kulemesin’s appeal against conviction, but cleared the chief pilot from the Yao Hai, and granted his appeal.
The judges also ruled that the stretch of water where the accident occurred, off the Brothers Islands, was a narrow channel rather than open water, as opposed by Kulemesin’s defense team. The two ships were following different navigation rules because, while Neftegaz-67’s officers thought they were in open water, Yao Hai’s believed they were in a narrow channel.