• Tue
  • Sep 2, 2014
  • Updated: 12:36pm
NewsHong Kong

On the rocks: picture shows how close huge cargo ship came to collision at Pok Fu Lam

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 April, 2014, 9:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 4:03pm

With its prow resting on the rocks at Pok Fu Lam, this dramatic picture shows just how close a 193-metre container ship came to a potentially disastrous end after being blown off course following a mechanical failure.

The German-registered Hansa Constitution ran aground on Sunday afternoon, just feet from the sea wall and a path popular with joggers.

Fire chiefs said it had suffered a mechanical malfunction while on its way to Shenzhen.

Video shot by resident Kevin Sites showed the ship curving in a wide arc before heading straight for land.

He said he had been alerted to the incoming cargo ship on hearing a loud screeching noise.

The captain, he said, appeared to have dropped anchor as the boat approached Hong Kong, slowing the vessel to an eventual standstill.

On spotting the boat he started filming. Witnesses can be heard asking whether they should call for emergency help.

Others stood on land in the rain wondering whether the ship would slow down or plough into the sea wall.

A spokeswoman for Hansa Treuhand Gruppe, which owns the vessel, said the accident could have been caused by a loss of power. 

Yesterday Hong Kong Observatory had warned of strong winds, while visibility was reduced to two nautical miles in some areas, according to the Marine Department.

Two diving support vessels as well as two fireboats were deployed and the cargo vessel was subsequently towed free.

No one onboard or ashore was hurt and the vessel appeared to have escaped unscathed.

Watch: Container ship runs aground off Pok Fu Lam

Hong Kong is one of the world’s busiest ports, with more than 425,000 vessels arriving and departing in 2010, according to official figures.

On any given day, scores of cargo ships can be seen moored in clusters around the port, and at night the horns of passing leviathan container vessels ships echo towards the city.

The city has been battered by strong winds and squally thunderstorms on and off for the past week.


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This article is now closed to comments

Complete power outtage doesn't mean the captain couldn't alert harbour patrol (do we even have it?) via other emergency communication devices. Unless the order from port authorities was to stay the heck away, wouldn't patrol vessels at least be chapperoning the incoming ship? This is totally bizzare. Again, scmp reporters failed to tell anything worthwhile and offered zero insights on the matter. Still, they needed TWO reporters on this wow piece. WOW.
Harbour patrol could not have done anything. Correct procedure is to drop anchor asap and stop the ship. Been there and done that:)
Healthily Cynical
I saw this happen live, there was an easterly wind blowing and the ship headed into the wind. So something is incorrect about this article and the explanation given for what happened.
The girls on shore made me do it.
As a warning for what purpose?
sudo rm -f cy
The ship was named the Hansa Constitution. An unintentional commentary of how Hong Kong's own constitution is on the rocks?
Sure it was engine failure (both engines?) Was there no-one at the helm to sound off whistles/horns as warning?
You don't stop a ship adrift with a whistle:)
One more reason to get this ridiculous industry out of Hong Kong.
That ship is literally just a few meters away from blanketing our home with a toxic oil spill. For the next 100 years. Hello financial crisis? Our real estate will be next to worthless.
Why do we put up with this stuff? Air pollution generated by these ships is already terrible enough.
This 'ridiculous' industry, provides 90% of what we use, eat, and generate our power with on this planet.




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