Four police hurt in boat chase
Four marine police officers were injured by mainland poachers in two high-speed boat chases off Lau Fau Shan in Yuen Long.
The unprecedented violent confrontations with poachers prompted police to step up night patrols in Deep Bay and equip officers with protective gear.
The poachers used long wooden poles to attack the officers and to prevent the pursuing police boats from getting close to their vessels. They also hurled stones at police as they fled towards Shenzhen.
Marine West divisional commander Superintendent Jackie Ling Wai-po said the poachers were setting up crab traps when they were spotted.
In the first incident, a speedboat with a man and a woman on board was seen heading towards Lau Fau Shan without navigation lights at about 3am on Thursday.
When the police vessel approached, the speedboat made a U-turn and sped towards the mainland. Police then gave chase, and when they were about six metres from the speedboat, a two-metre pole was suddenly hurled at them. 'It hit an officer in the mouth,' Ling said.
The speedboat then entered mainland waters.
At 3am yesterday, two police boats were sent to check an eight-metre speedboat that was carrying two men and a woman near the Lau Fau Shan shoreline.
As the speedboat was about to be intercepted, a man on board used a long wooden pole to attack a sergeant on the police boat. Although the officer had a shield to protect himself, he was injured on the chest, Ling said.
As the other police boat approached, the second man on the speedboat hit the arm of another officer with a long pole while the woman threw stones, injuring a third policeman. The speedboat also escaped into mainland waters. No one was arrested.
All four officers suffered minor injuries and were treated and discharged at the hospital.
Police said they had never encountered such violence from poachers before.