Five cleared of Sea Diamond blame, but not ship’s captain

Five people found guilty last year for their part in the sinking of the Sea Diamond cruise ship off Santorini in 2007, which caused the deaths of two passengers, were cleared on appeal Friday but the convictions of three others were not overturned.

The Piraeus appeals court ruled that the captain of the Louis Hellenic Cruise Lines vessel, which ran aground near the island’s Athinios port in April 2007, the first mate and the head of operations ashore were all guilty of negligence. The captain was handed a five-year jail sentence, which he can buy out for 5 euros a day (9,125 euros in total). At the initial trial he had received a sentence of 12 years and two months. The head of operations was given a three-year term suspended for three years and the first mate a 26-month suspended sentence.

However, five others, including two representatives of the cruise company, were cleared of any wrongdoing. Seven years on from the accident, the Sea Diamond’s hulk has not been raised.