Lamma IV

Hong Kong's maritime management all at sea

Francis Liu Hon-por, director of the Marine Department, apologised over the Lamma IV tragedy. Photo: Edward Wong

In spite of the importance for Hong Kong of its port and shipping centre roles, all is not well in the jurisdiction of maritime affairs. The attitude of the Marine Department to the Lamma IV disaster is extremely disturbing and cries out for independent investigation, not the light touch expected from fellow bureaucrats of the Transport and Housing Bureau.

Sunday, 2 June, 2013, 3:59am 4 comments

Marine inquiry chief's Lamma IV link

Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing. Photo: Dickson Lee

The man in charge of a marine department inquiry into issues raised by the Lamma ferry tragedy was involved in inspecting ships at the same time the Lamma IV was passing safety checks - despite missing a watertight door, which was cited as the reason it sank in about two minutes.

10 May 2013 - 5:59am

Lamma ferry manslaughter case adjourned until June

Lai Sai-ming, captain of the Sea Smooth (left), and Chow Chi-wai, captain of Hongkong Electric's Lamma IV. Photos: David Wong

The manslaughter case of the two coxswains involved in a deadly Lamma ferry collision in October has been adjourned until next month.

Chow Chi-wai, coxswain of Lamma IV, and Lai Sai-ming, coxswain of Sea Smooth, faced 39 counts of manslaughter charges and appeared in Eastern Court on Thursday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Culpability for Lamma ferry crash must be properly shared

Family members and relatives attend a Taoist ceremony to mourn the Lamma ferry disaster victims. Photo: Nora Tam

The report of the inquiry into the Lamma ferry tragedy calls for congratulations but also misgivings. Congratulations because the report - 186 pages plus 82 pages of appendices - is an admirably clear summary of an inquiry which had 113 witnesses and was provided with a mass of expert evidence.

5 May 2013 - 2:51am 2 comments

Grieving mother of Lamma victim tells of happy days on island

Mourners attend a requiem Mass for victim Thomas Koo Man-cheung at St Anthony's Church in Pok Fu Lam Road. Photo: Sam Tsang

Lamma Island should be a place full of family memories for Irene Cheng, the place where her beloved son started a prosperous career.

1 May 2013 - 5:47am

Revealed: Shocking catalogue of failures that led to deaths of 39 in Lamma ferry crash

A catalogue of failures

The Commission of Inquiry said the department never fully implemented a 2008 requirement that the number of lifejackets carried should be equivalent to a vessel's capacity, and that the number of children's lifejackets should be equivalent to 5 per cent of capacity.

3 May 2013 - 6:21pm 1 comment

Lamma ferry inquiry report blasts Marine Department

Lamma ferry inquiry report blasts Marine Department

In its report, released yesterday, the Commission of Inquiry pointed to a "litany of errors" at every stage of the design, construction and inspection of the Lamma IV, which contributed to the rapid sinking of the boat.

1 May 2013 - 10:51am 10 comments

Missing life vests strike sad final note

The commission of inquiry into the Lamma ferry tragedy is set to decide whether Marine Department officers made false statements about children's life vests on the sunken Lamma IV after it finished hearing evidence yesterday.

13 Mar 2013 - 5:55am

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.

12 Mar 2013 - 4:40am

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

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

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

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

Lamma IV engineer recalls final moments on doomed ferry

Leung Pui-sang

The engineer of the sinking Lamma IV waved in a plea for help at a nearby ferry, but got no response, the commission of inquiry in the accident heard yesterday. The vessel belonged to Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry, Leung Pui-sang told the inquiry into the October 1 disaster, in which 39 people died.

22 Feb 2013 - 3:44am