Smugglers caught in sea chase

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 April, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 April, 1995, 12:00am

A ROYAL Navy sailor is recovering in hospital after capturing a smugglers' tai fei by leaping from his own speeding vessel yesterday.

Radio Operator Ray Lawson, a crew member of HMS Peacock, was praised for his 'outstanding bravery' after the operation against a car smuggling syndicate on the edge of Hong Kong waters, south of Lamma Island.

Mr Lawson dislocated his shoulder when he landed on a Toyota Crown saloon in the tai fei after jumping from his Fast Pursuit Craft (FPC) as it travelled at 50 knots alongside the smugglers' speedboat.

Senior Superintendent Norrie Mackillop of the police's anti-smuggling task force said they had surprised a tug and a lighter transferring cargo into four tai feis.

Three of the tai feis escaped but Mr Lawson's FPC and a police tai fei pursued a fourth vessel that veered to the east.

Two men on a tugboat and three on a lighter were arrested. The five Hong Kong men were last night being questioned by Marine Police.