Hong Kong's Court of Appeal has upheld the eight-year prison term imposed on one of the captains responsible for the fatal ferry collision off Lamma Island in 2012, local media reported on Thursday.
Lai Sai-ming, coxswain of Sea Smooth, had been convicted of the manslaughter of 39 people in the tragedy on National Day three years ago.
His lawyer earlier asked for a shorter prison term, saying the judge had overstated Lai's negligence, and that he hadn't given sufficient consideration to other factors that contributed to the crash.
But the court disagreed and concluded that the defendant's conduct was a substantial cause for the deaths. The two-judge panel also said the lawyer had "rather missed the point" when she said Lai did not foresee or intend such terrible consequences.
They said anybody who pilots a heavy vessel with hundreds of passengers on board in the busy waters of Hong Kong must appreciate that any negligence on his part could run the "serious and obvious risk of loss of life."
Chow Chi-wai, the coxswain of Lamma Four, which sank minutes after the collision, was jailed for nine months in February for endangering the safety of others at sea.