Tanker captain Ngai Lup-chee admitted he had to bear 'some responsibility' for the accident in which David Chan drowned. 'I'm not trying to shirk responsibility. As the commander-in-chief of the ship, I have to bear some responsibility. 'But I have to make the whole thing clear. Before it happened . . . I had already made it clear we had to cancel the operation to land. 'I said I wanted to steam closer and then return to Hong Kong. 'After I told them this, Mr Chan came to me and said many of them were not happy with my decision. I explained to them the chance of landing was very remote because of the weather. '[I said] some of us might die even before reaching the islands. As the captain, I couldn't accept that - he could. 'But later, he came back and asked whether they could do something else. 'They wanted to swim when we got near to the islands. I felt I had disappointed them earlier, and said OK. 'Yes, I agreed to their action.' But Captain Ngai said he was in charge of the ship and had no time to give instructions to the protesters. 'Twenty Japanese ships were circling us. The ship had to sail at a certain speed. 'It would have gone out of control if it stopped, so I didn't stop the ship . . . I made preparations to slow. 'As soon as I knew they were in trouble, I stopped the engine immediately and reversed. Unfortunately, it was too late,' he said. The captain attributed the tragedy to a number of small mistakes. 'He did not swim well and was a bit old. The way they used the rope and life jackets was wrong.' Captain Ngai rejected criticism he had been negligent, saying his main duty was to deal with the Japanese ships. 'I have no time to handle anything else. Mr Chan and I were in charge of different things.' Taiwan authorities have agreed to waive formalities to ensure Chan's body can be brought back to the territory by late today. The ship was expected to reach the port of Keelung in northern Taiwan, at about 1 am today. Cathay Pacific has agreed to arrange air tickets to fly crew members and the body back today. Taipei authorities have promised to waive visa requirements. The Immigration Department has opened a hotline for relatives of those on board the Kien Hwa No 2. The number is 2829-3076.