Marine Department

Stricken cargo ship overturns in Hong Kong as frightened crew abandon posts

The cargo vessel Sunrise Orient drifted for about one kilometre after the rescue before running aground on eastern Cheung Chau. Photo: Felix Wong

Terrified crew fled a listing cargo ship and refused to go back on board to turn off the engine for fear of being trapped if it capsized, leaving the 2,500-tonne vessel circling until it broke down and beached at Cheung Chau yesterday.

Saturday, 22 February, 2014, 12:25pm

Ferry safety – does the Marine Department take it seriously?

A baby buggy obstructing ferry aisle and emergency exit on a Mui Wo ferry. Photo: Anna Healy Fenton

Several blogs ago, I wrote about the concerns of several passengers about safety onboard New World First Ferries from Central to Mui Wo on Lantau. I contacted the Marine Department, requesting a chat with the Director of Marine, Francis H P Liu. This was not forthcoming. So I sent questions instead.

16 Dec 2013 - 4:04pm 2 comments

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.

2 Jun 2013 - 3:59am 4 comments

Minister backs immunity for inquiry

Anthony Cheung Bing-leung. Photo: Sam Tsang

Senior marine staff would not be questioned as part of the internal investigation into the Lamma ferry tragedy unless new information came to light, the city's transport chief insisted yesterday. His remarks came in the face of criticism about the limitations of the Marine Department investigating itself.

22 May 2013 - 4:03am

Lamma ferry disaster relatives told 'marine chief expressed sorrow already'

Francis Liu Hon-por

The Marine Department insisted yesterday that its director had already expressed his remorse for the Lamma ferry tragedy following criticism from relatives of some of the 39 people who died.

17 May 2013 - 10:15am

Lamma disaster victims' families publicise angry letter to CY Leung

Lamma disaster victims' families publicise angry letter to CY Leung

Relatives of the Lamma Island ferry crash victims have publicised a letter they wrote to the chief executive, slamming the Marine Department for the accident and demanding an independent probe into its failings.

16 May 2013 - 3:40am 1 comment

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

8,000 vessels won't have shelter during typhoons, study finds

Shum Wan Typhoon Shelter. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The full extent of the crisis caused by a lack of boat moorings has been revealed, with new government figures showing nearly 8,000 vessels will be without safe haven as the typhoon season approaches.

5 May 2013 - 5:03am 3 comments

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

Alice Tai, Irving Koo to sit on marine reform committee after ferry disaster

Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung will chair the new Steering Committee on Systemic Reform of the Marine Department. Photo: Dickson Lee

A former ombudsman and a retired business executive will serve on a three-member committee led by the transport minister to advise the Marine Department on reforms after a ferry tragedy last year killed 39 passengers.

4 May 2013 - 5:40am 2 comments

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

Letters to the Editor, April 28, 2013

No need to waste perishable food. Photo: SMP

Your comment columns and editorials frequently hail the concepts of freedom and free trade.

28 Apr 2013 - 5:02am

Boat owners face stormy waters after enforcement of mooring rules

Vessels moored at Shum Wan Typhoon Shelter, where owners have been given two weeks to move oversized boats. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The Marine Department has stepped up enforcement of rules regarding boat length and ownership of moorings. The crackdown means hundreds of boat owners could see their vessels left at the mercy of the typhoon season. 

31 Mar 2013 - 5:48am 1 comment

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