A co-captain who was steering the ferry that ran aground in Lantau on Friday had a history of high blood pressure and nearly passed out just before the accident. Leung Ah-shing, 57, underwent a medical examination at Tseung Kwan O Hospital less than 24 hours before the ferry veered off course as it approached Mui Wo, according to a police source. 'Officers were told that the assistant captain felt dizzy at the time and the captain helped him before taking control of the steering wheel,' the source said. 'But the ferry still had forward momentum and slammed onto the rocks.' The New World First Ferry double-decker Xin Jie, bound from Central to Mui Wo, had 81 passengers on board at the time of the accident. The captain - Lo Sum, 56 - was also in the wheelhouse. The force of the crash threw passengers onto the deck, causing Tong Siu-ying, 78, to suffer head injuries. The company will conduct an internal investigation and submit a report to the Marine Department. A spokeswoman for the ferry company refused to comment on the cause of the incident or the condition of the captain and his assistant yesterday. She said Mr Leung and Mr Lo have been withdrawn from frontline duties until the investigation into the crash is complete. This was normal company procedure after an accident and the two men had not been suspended from duties. 'They will be heavily involved in investigation work so they will have no time to operate a boat,' she said. A spokeswoman for the Marine Department said a report on the investigation into the accident would be released in two to three months' time. She said it may include recommendations to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.