image image

Hong Kong rescue services

Woman killed trying to save people thrown into sea in crash near Hong Kong waters

Seven still missing after fishing boat hit cargo ship south of Soko Islands on Saturday, the second deadly incident near maritime border that day

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 January, 2018, 9:22am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 January, 2018, 4:04pm

A mainland woman died while apparently trying to save people thrown into the sea after a fishing boat hit a cargo vessel just outside Hong Kong waters on Saturday.

By Monday morning seven others were still missing after the crash, which came on the same day as another deadly incident near the city’s maritime border.

The fishing boat sank after hitting the cargo ship 40 nautical miles south of the Soko Islands. Hong Kong’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) got a call for help at about 9.20pm.

The city’s Government Flying Service (GFS) sent a Super Puma helicopter and Challenger 605 aircraft for a search and rescue operation. Officials said nearby vessels pulled six people from the water, but seven people remained missing.

One of the rescued six, a 46-year-old mainland woman, was airlifted to a GFS base on Lantau Island and then to North Lantau Hospital in Tung Chung. But she was confirmed dead at about 1am, before reaching the hospital.

A police spokesman said the woman was from a passing fishing vessel, not involved in the collision. She was said to have fallen into sea while trying to rescue others.

The search was temporarily suspended on Sunday night. The MRCC was set to decide whether to resume it on Monday.

Why Hong Kong’s waters are so dangerous for sailing

The collision happened the same day as the captain of a mainland fishing vessel was killed after a yacht competing in an around-the-world race crashed with his boat near Hong Kong waters.

The yacht of American-Danish team Vestas 11th Hour Racing, competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, hit the boat at about 1am on Saturday. The latter sank and 10 fishermen fell into the sea to the east of Waglan Island, including the captain. Nine other fishermen were saved by other boats.