Inquiry after skipper runs into bridge

Marine police are investigating a ship's master for alleged negligence after a fishing boat slammed into rocks at the base of a Tsing Ma Bridge pillar yesterday.

A Hong Kong crew member, 35, suffered minor facial injuries, but the master, 43, and two other crew members were unhurt when the 28-metre wooden boat hit the bridge at midday.

Two fireboats, two marine police launches and two Marine Department boats were sent to the scene after a crew member called police.

The boat's three men and a woman were rescued by marine police, and the injured man, who was treated at the scene, did not need hospital treatment, said a police officer.

He said the fishing vessel began taking water after the crash and a tugboat was used to tow it away for repairs.

The vessel was heading to Castle Peak Bay in Tuen Mun from Wailingding Island in mainland waters, about 16km south of Lantau Island, at the time of the incident.

The master was at the wheelhouse alone and the boat was travelling slowly at the time of the incident, said police.

'We are looking into possible negligence in the incident. We suspect that no proper lookout was deployed at the wheelhouse at the time of the crash,' the officer said.

Police said no one was arrested and the investigation was continuing. A spokeswoman for the Marine Department said its officers had launched a separate investigation into the incident.