News reports say a Hong Kong ferry captain has been sentenced to eight years in prison for the deaths of 39 people in a 2012 accident that was the southern Chinese city's biggest maritime disaster in decades.

A judge on Tuesday handed down the sentence to Lai Sai-ming after his conviction on charges of manslaughter and endangering the safety of others at sea.

That's according to the South China Morning Post newspaper and Radio Television Hong Kong.

The captain of the other boat involved in the collision, Chow Chi-wai, was given a nine-month sentence. He was cleared by a jury of manslaughter but convicted of endangering others at sea.

All of those killed, including eight children, and most of the nearly 100 injured were aboard Chow's boat.