A speedboat driver who hit and killed a swimmer in Clear Water Bay last year was ordered yesterday to perform 240 hours of community service. While a lawmaker felt the sentence was adequate, the victim's widow said it was too lenient. The Department of Justice is studying the judgment to consider whether to appeal. Lau Wah-fai, 66, was killed when he was hit by a speedboat's propeller on August 19 last year. Judge Bernard Whaley had convicted Tam Kei-wing, 52, of endangering the safety of others at sea. But he was acquitted of failing to be accompanied by a lookout. In sentencing, Judge Whaley said: 'The fact a person is killed is always a very grave matter.' But he did not call for a custodial sentence as Tam did not drive wildly trying to show off. The judge accepted that Tam was apologetic and remorseful, and the court heard that his psychological and psychiatric reports stated he was suffering post-traumatic disorder. The judge said there was no evidence to show Tam - a speedboat driver for 10 years - was going too fast, but it was a case of negligence. He said the victim, who was swimming outside the shark net, had also shown an element of negligence, an issue that might be a factor in civil proceedings. However, he added Tam might have spotted the swimmer if he had had a proper lookout. But considering his remorse, clear record, good character and responsibility to support his family, the judge said he would adopt a lenient sentence. Tam was also fined HK$500 for his guilty plea to keeping insufficient life-saving appliances and firefighting apparatus on his speedboat. Outside the District Court, the victim's widow said the sentence would not serve as a deterrent. 'I understand my husband should shoulder some responsibilities for the incident too, but I am quite disappointed by the sentence,' she said. 'I expected a heavier term that perhaps would disqualify the defendant from driving any boat. 'It does not help much in preventing similar events from happening again. I intend to launch a tort claim through legal aid.' Legislator James To Kun-sun said the criminality of the offence could not warrant a heavier sentence and the victim's family should try to seek compensation in civil court. 'This present charge of endangering the lives of others at sea is not equivalent to dangerous driving causing death, which is an offence on the land,' he said. 'When we are talking about the criminality of the act, it is more similar to careless driving.' A spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department urged swimmers to be safe. 'We try to educate and advise swimmers of our 32 gazetted beaches to swim inside the swimming zone.' He said giving advice to swimmers at beaches was the method the department adopted for promoting safe swimming as there was no legal restriction to ban dangerous swimming outside the swimming zone. 'Lifeguard services are provided at beaches and our lifeguards will alert swimmers not to go beyond the boom line or even the shark prevention net.'