Lamma ferry disaster | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 6, 2015
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Lamma ferry disaster

Lamma ferry disaster

Thirty-nine people were killed when a boat owned by Hongkong Electric collided with a ferry off Lamma Island on October 1, 2012. The power firm was taking staff to see the National Day fireworks display in Victoria Harbour when disaster struck, plunging more than 100 people into the dark waters. It was the deadliest boat accident in Hong Kong in 40 years.

Marine Department officers were not alert in Lamma IV checks

Paul Shieh (left) and Mike Lui, counsels for the inquiry into the National Day disaster, appear at the commission. Photo: Dickson Lee

Marine Department officers failed to detect a missing watertight door on the Lamma IV because they were not alert enough and failed to communicate, its lawyer admitted yesterday.

Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 4:40am

Final statements in Lamma ferry inquiry delivered

Paul Shieh Wing-tai SC said both the crew of Lamma IV and Sea Smooth had not kept a proper lookout. Photo: Dickson Lee

The lack of proper lookout or the possibility of “reckless gambling” in the form of a who-blinks-first game between the coxswains of both vessels could be the cause of the disastrous collision off Lamma Island last year, the counsel for the commission of inquiry said in his final submission on Monday.

11 Mar 2013 - 11:22pm

Lamma ferry disaster: Hong Kong lacks marine training, says union chief

Lee Kwok-keung. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

A trade union chief yesterday criticised a lack of training in the local marine industry and long working hours in some ferry companies.

9 Mar 2013 - 5:03am

Ballast made Lamma IV 'sink like Titanic'

Naval architect Dr Neville Armstrong. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Ballast that added 30 per cent to the weight of the Lamma IV made the vessel "sink like the Titanic" after its collision with the ferry Sea Smooth, an inquiry into the National Day sea tragedy heard yesterday.

7 Mar 2013 - 4:13am

Naval expert suggests separating roles to avoid inspection errors

Australian naval architect Dr Neville Armstrong. Photo: KY Cheng

The person who approves a ship’s drawing plans in the future should also be the one who inspects the ship, a naval expert testifying at the commission of inquiry into the Lamma ferry disaster said on Wednesday.

6 Mar 2013 - 8:10pm 1 comment

Sea Smooth’s late turn made in panic: expert

Sea Smooth coxswain Lai Sai-ming. Photo: Edward Wong

A late action taken by the coxswain of Sea Smooth was an act of "last-minute panic" rather than a conscious attempt at averting a collision, a naval expert said yesterday.

6 Mar 2013 - 8:39pm

Lamma IV's cut light wires pose questions at inquiry

Paul Shieh Wing-tai. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

The National Day ferry disaster inquiry is investigating when the wires were cut to two lights onboard the Lamma IV. Paul Shieh Wing-tai SC, the counsel for the commission of inquiry, yesterday said wires to a masthead and an anchor light had been found cut.

5 Mar 2013 - 4:54am

Life jacket law ignored for 4 years

The Marine Department never fully enforced a 2008 law increasing the number of life jackets on boats for both adults and children until after 39 people died in the Lamma ferry tragedy, it emerged at the commission of inquiry yesterday.

2 Mar 2013 - 3:52am

I turned right, not left, says Sea Smooth coxswain

Lai Sai-ming, coxswain of the Sea Smooth, said a bright fog light on Lamma hampered his vision. Photo: Edward Wong

The coxswain of the Sea Smooth ferry insisted he had turned right to avoid colliding with the Lamma IV, the commission of inquiry into the National Day disaster heard yesterday. Lai Sai-ming's testimony was contrary to evidence previously presented in court that he had wrongly turned left, resulting in the fatal accident.

1 Mar 2013 - 5:35am

Sea Smooth coxswain: It was safe to not use the radar

A weary looking Lai Sai-ming, coxswain of Sea Smooth, leaves the commission of inquiry into his ferry's collision with the Lamma IV, in which 39 people died. Photo: May Tse

The coxswain of the Sea Smooth ferry insisted it was a safe to sail without looking at the radar during fine weather, the commission of inquiry into the National Day disaster heard yesterday.

28 Feb 2013 - 4:25am

Sea Smooth coxswain continues testimony without legal representation

Coxswain of the Sea Smooth Lai Sai-ming. Photo: David Wong

The coxswain of the Sea Smooth said on Wednesday that he would continue his testimony without legal representation to the commission of inquiry into the fatal Lamma ferry collision last October 1.

The Sea Smooth collided with the Lamma IV, leaving 31 adults and eight children aboard the Lamma IV dead.

27 Feb 2013 - 7:42pm

Sea Smooth pair: We didn't think Lamma IV passengers were overboard

Sea Smooth sailor Wong Tai-yau

Two Sea Smooth crew members never considered that passengers from the Lamma IV might be in the sea and need rescuing after the vessels collided, the commission of inquiry heard yesterday.

Sailor Wong Tai-yau and engineer Lo Pui-kay were quizzed by lawyers over their actions after the two ferries collided, and why the Sea Smooth had sailed away.

27 Feb 2013 - 4:29am

Sea Smooth sailors lose counsel in Lamma ferry inquiry

Charles Sussex

The legal team for the owner and crew of the ferry Sea Smooth at the inquiry into the Lamma sea tragedy has withdrawn from representing the coxswain, engineer and two sailors, citing a potential conflict of interest.

26 Feb 2013 - 5:52am

Sea Smooth captain breaks silence over death crash

Captain Lai Sai-ming. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The captain of the Sea Smooth yesterday broke his silence over the Lamma ferry tragedy for the first time.

Lai Sai-ming has even refused to talk to the police since being arrested in hospital for endangering the safety of others the morning after the Sea Smooth was in a collision with Hongkong Electric's Lamma IV.

23 Feb 2013 - 4:14am

Lamma IV sailor challenged over contradictory statements

The Lamma IV sailor Leung Tai-yau. Photo: May Tse

A sailor on one of the ferries involved in the fatal Lamma Island ferry collision made contradictory statements to the commission of inquiry on Friday on whether or not he had alerted the coxswain about the approaching Sea Smooth vessel, with which it eventually collided

22 Feb 2013 - 8:05pm