• Wed
  • Sep 3, 2014
  • Updated: 1:46am
NewsHong Kong

Probe begins after more than 30 injured in a ferry collision near Cheung Chau

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 12:39am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 5:39pm

More than 30 people were injured when a high-speed ferry carrying 162 passengers collided with a mainland cargo ship in waters off Cheung Chau ferry pier late last night.

Passengers on the ferry put on their life jackets and waited in their seats following the crash, a picture taken on the boat showed.

Thirty-five people with minor injuries were taken from the damaged ferry to the Hong Kong - Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan before being taken to hospitals.

Two women who had fallen unconscious after the collision were taken to St John Hospital in Cheung Chau.

The ferry, Universal MK 2013, is operated by Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management Limited.

The company said the ferry departed from Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal for Macau, and the collision occurred at north of Cheung Chau, half an hour after departure.

Rescue teams from marine patrols, police force and fire department arrived at the scene “within a short time” according to a Marine Department spokeswoman.

The passengers on the ferry consisted of 102 from a mainland tour group, 55 Hong Kong and Macau residents, and five foreigners, Radio Television Hong Kong reported.

No casualties were reported on the mainland ship.

The Marine Department said it is investigating the case.

Footage from Cable News showed several injured passengers being carried away on stretchers. One passenger was taken by helicopter to the Eastern Hospital.

At least nine incidents where ferries collided with other ships, buoys, or docks have been reported in the in the past few years. The most serious occurred when a Hongkong Electric boat collided with a ferry off Lamma Island in October 2012, resulting in 39 killed and 92 injured. It was the the deadliest boat accident in Hong Kong in over 40 years.


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This article is now closed to comments

There's only a narrow corridor where ships are passing between one another and islands are well close enough to create obstacles for ships. This is because we have had reclamations over the years begging for vast stretches of land, including HK island harbour areas. All these contribute to the chaotic state for shipping lanes at no-matter what speed it travels. The sea is not a road where one can step on the brakes and ships do stray off course - wind, tide and current. It's like threading a needle with one eye while keeping the other eye open for sea debris. There must be a revision for our sea lanes.
And it does not help when mainland vessels are often using very dim navigation lights and have no radar reflector or AIS. And I also wonder whether mainland trained captains are aware of The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Maybe it is time to enforce rules, today in use when it comes to aircrafts. Using central surveilance, corridors for different kind of ships etc.
Yep, they have all that already.
The failings of the Marine Department over all these years are starting to rise to the surface as more and more incidents occur.
Can anyone imagine how dangerous it will get if the Shek Kwu Chau incinerator waste cargo vessel traffic add to this already very busy marine traffic situation?
This is not rocket science that we need to brace us for much more such marine accidents.


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