A Singapore-registered container ship that collided with a dredger off Hong Kong, causing the death of eight seamen, was detected by radar as having changed course two minutes before the crash, a judicial inquiry into the accident heard yesterday. An engineer for the Marine Department told Eastern Court the radar recorded the Kota Hadiah as altering course to 'port' at 9.41pm on March 12, two minutes before the accident. On Wednesday, the Kota Hadiah captain, Muhammad Sarwar, told the hearing the two vessels had agreed to pass each other 'port-to-port' three minutes before the crash. But he said the Hong Kong-registered dredger A. M. Vella had changed its signals and altered course after the agreement. The judicial inquiry has heard harbour pilot Howard Lau Hon-kwong boarded the Kota Hadiah off Tap Shek Kok, North Lantau, on March 12. The two vessels collided west of Ma Wan. The dredger sank and six Russian and two Hong Kong crew members died. The inquiry is being held before a board of investigation to consider if pilot Lau was guilty of misconduct in the discharge of his duty. The hearing continues today.