Shots fired to warn off smugglers

A ROYAL Marine fired warning shots to frighten off three smuggling suspects who were about to attack Royal Navy ratings as they boarded their high-powered speedboat yesterday.

No one was injured in the incident which occurred when officers from HMS Peacock's fast pursuit craft intercepted the speedboat north of Lantau Island at about 2 am.

As the officers boarded the speedboat, one of its three crew attempted to attack them, allegedly with a knife.

The Marine, still on board Peacock's fast pursuit craft, fired two shots from his 9mm Browning pistol to warn off the attackers.

During the struggle, one Navy officer and one of the smugglers fell into the sea and had to be rescued by the fast pursuit craft.

A stolen BMW car was found on the speedboat. The Navy handed the smugglers, all thought to be mainlanders, to Marine Police.

The mainlander rescued from the sea was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital for observation. His two compatriots were held for questioning at Harbour Division headquarters.