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First Mate Gets One Year for Deadly Boat Crash

From USA Today

The first mate of a Philadelphia tug boat was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for his role in causing a collision with a duck boat that left two Hungarian tourists dead.

In August, 35-year-old Matthew Devlin pleaded guilty to misconduct by a ships officer causing death, which is the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter. The judge could have sentenced Devlin to up to four years in prison.

An investigation into the cause of the crash revealed that Devlin, who was the first mate of the tug, was talking on his cell phone at the time of the collision.

Two Hungarian nationals, 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner and 20-year-old Szabolcs Prem, were killed in the July 2010 crash.

The judge may have handed down a lighter sentence because Devlin had been told just before the incident that his son, who was undergoing surgery, had been deprived of oxygen for 8 minutes.