THE captain and nine crew members of a Chinese ship were forced to dive into the sea after a collision with a Russian oil tanker, an inquiry heard yesterday. The Chinese container ship Lin Jiang capsized and the crew were rescued from the sea in the incident on June 30 last year. The marine inquiry, which began yesterday before chairman Henry Brazier, is to decide whether the pilot, Hui Man-kit, had been guilty of misconduct, had otherwise failed in or neglected his duties or is otherwise not a fit and proper person to be a licensed pilot. The inquiry can recommend to the Pilotage Authority that Mr Hui's licence be cancelled or suspended. Richard Stone QC is appearing for Mr Hui. The collision off Tsing Yi island was while the Russian tanker, Akademic Vekua, was under compulsory pilotage. Two other Chinese vessels were involved, but did not sink. Senior Crown Counsel Peter Davies told the inquiry that Mr Hui became a Class 1 pilot in January 1991. He boarded the Russian tanker at 1 pm on June 30 at Pun Shan Shek Anchorage. Mr Davies asked the inquiry to consider that he had already been on duty for many hours the previous day and may have been over-tired. He usually worked three days on and one day off, but during this time had worked five days without a break. Mr Hui's job was to pilot the vessel to discharge oil at the Mobil terminal at the east side of Tsing Yi island. Mr Davies explained that this was a busy section of Hongkong harbour. Numerous moored ships barred his way, restricting his manoeuvrability. The pilot knew or should have known there would be considerable traffic. The weather was fine with good visibility. The Russian tanker was not fully loaded - it had about 5,000 tonnes of fuel oil on board. The allegations made against the pilot are that he did not plot a course, and did not instruct the crew as to the course or the difficulties they might encounter. There was also doubt as to how much information he had obtained from the master about the vessel's characteristics. Mr Davies said that according to the pilot, he had observed three sets of tugs and tows in his direction. The tugs changed and began crossing the Russian tanker's bow. They made no attempt to give way or alter course, although it was their obligation to do so and it was the Russian tanker which had to take avoiding action, the inquiry was told. The tanker sounded five short blasts, which apparently went unanswered. Mr Davies said the pilot found his course had now left him insufficient room to pass clear of the Lin Jiang. He could not alter to port because the tugs would be too close. The oil tanker collided with the Lin Jiang, its nose making a hole in its side causing the Chinese ship to capsize. The hearing continues.