#CostaConcordia - The disgraced former captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that capsized off the Italian coast three years ago, has been convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, as the Guardian reports.
Thirty-two people died in the disaster that ensued after the cruise liner struck a sandbank near Isola del Giglio off Tuscany on the night of 13 January 2012.
And only last summer was the ship refloated as part of a pioneering international salvage operation.
One Irish couple were among the more than 4,000 passengers and crew who were evacuated from the vessel amid much criticism of Captain Francesco Schettino's behaviour on the night.
While the Costa Concordia's crew were later presented with the prestigious Lloyd's Lost Seafarer of the Year award for their "courage and professionalism" in response to the disaster, Schettino was branded 'Captain Coward' after evidence emerged that he abandoned ship before hundreds of passengers had been rescued.
In mid 2013, five other officers from the ship received jail terms as part of their plea bargains with the court over their connection with the incident, but an offer of a similar deal by Schettino's lawyers was refused.
However, Italy's mandatory suspension of sentences under two years means that none of the officers were likely to spend any jail time – and the complicated appeals system means that it could also be many years before Schettino sees the inside of a prison cell.
The Guardian has more on the story HERE.