Posts Tagged ‘Boat crash’
Details of the Investigation Report published in Hong Kong, 30 April 2013.
The following is from the SCMP.
Lamma ferry inquiry report blasts Marine Department
The government department responsible for shipping and vessel safety needs an urgent overhaul, investigation of collision concludes
Simpson Cheung email@example.com
“Serious systemic failings” in the Marine Department contributed to the Lamma ferry tragedy, the Commission of Inquiry into the disaster has found.
In its report, released yesterday, the commission pointed to a “litany of errors” at every stage of the design, construction and inspection of the Lamma IV, which contributed to the rapid sinking of the boat.
“What is required is systemic change, in particular a change in attitude to responsibility and transparency,” the commission said of the department. “In [some] areas, what is required is action, and action now.”
The commission, led by Mr Justice Michael Lunn, said it was “astonished and deeply dismayed” to learn that the department had not fully enforced a 2008 regulation stipulating that vessels should carry a number of lifejackets matching their capacity, as well as children’s lifejackets equal to five per cent of capacity.
The key factors so many lives were lost were loosely attached seats on the upper deck of the Lamma IV that came off, throwing passengers towards the stern; passengers having trouble getting to and donning lifejackets; and no children’s lifejackets.
The department has promised an internal investigation into whether any officer bears part of the responsibility for Hong Kong’s deadliest sea tragedy in 40 years.
A total of 39 passengers died when the Hongkong Electric vessel Lamma IV, taking workers and their families to see the National Day fireworks in Victoria Harbour, collided with the ferry Sea Smooth off Lamma Island.
Sections of the report dealing with the responsibilities of the two coxswains involved in the October 1 crash – both of whom have been charged with manslaughter – was redacted to avoid influencing their trials.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said he would lead a steering committee to oversee the reform of the department. He said he would appoint a directorate-grade officer as deputy director of the department to lead the reforms.
Director of Marine Francis Liu Hon-por said the department had appointed foreign experts to review its inspection procedures and compare safety regulations with those in Singapore, Sydney and Southampton.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged that the government would handle any case of maladministration or human error impartially, and said disciplinary hearings could start.
Liu did not answer if he would apologise or resign. Cheung said he “felt sorry”.
Ryan Tsui Chi-shing, younger brother of Tsui Chi-wai and uncle of Tsui Hoi-ying, 10, who both died in the crash, said he appreciated that the inquiry had shed light on a lot of facts. But he had doubts whether the reforms would succeed: “The director lacks the courage to even apologise, so how can I trust him to have a conscience in future?”
This from the SCMP in Hong Kong.
This development is entirely separate to the Accident Investigation that took place earlier and which is expected to publish its report on the matter by the end of April.
The scope of that investigation was to establish the events that took place and make recommendations for actions that could assist to prevent accidents of a similar nature, and to recommend amendments to regulations based on the findings.
This latest development with Manslaughter charges to both skippers comes from the Police Investigation. They have levelled a different charge to each skipper. Perhaps surprisingly only the skippers have been charged and not any of the Officers. As Yet.
Given the tragic loss of life (almost one third of passengers perished) and avoidable nature of the accident, charges were inevitable.
By Thomas Chan firstname.lastname@example.org
The captains of two vessels that collided off Lamma Island on October 1 made their first appearance in court yesterday, facing a combined 78 counts of manslaughter.
Chow Chi-wai, 56, captain of Hongkong Electric’s Lamma IV, and Lai Sai-ming, 55, captain of the Sea Smooth, operated by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry, are each charged with 39 counts of manslaughter.
Chow and Lai were represented by Gerard McCoy SC and Audrey Campbell-Moffat, respectively, in Eastern Court.
The pair are accused of unlawfully killing 39 people by gross negligence. The victims died on October 1, 2 and 5.
Some died at the scene and some in hospital.
Court documents say Chow owed a duty of care to his passengers and Lai to other vessels and their passengers. They were allegedly in breach of that duty of care by failing to keep a proper lookout, and to take any effective measures or steps to avoid the collision.
The gross negligence caused by the breach of duty was allegedly a substantial cause of the death of the victims.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai adjourned the case to May 9 upon the request of Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos. Zervos said the prosecution needed four weeks to prepare documents, and on the next occasion it would ask for a return-day hearing.
Chow and Lai were released on HK$20,000 cash bail each. The court also ordered them to surrender all their travel documents.
Posted in News Events, Uncategorized, Updates, tagged Boat crash, collision at sea, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Electric, Hong Kong ferry disaster, Lamma Island, Lamma IV, Sea Smooth on February 21, 2013| Leave a Comment »
From SCMP, Hong Kong.
Sea Smooth turn “absolutely the cause” of ferry disaster: expert
Maritime official says the vessels would have missed each other narrowly if not for the move
Ada Lee email@example.com
A wrong turn by the vessel Sea Smooth was the “actual cause” of its fatal collision with the Lamma IV on October 1 last year in which 39 people died, an expert told the commission of inquiry yesterday.
British maritime expert Captain Nigel Pryke returned to the commission to answer questions, after giving testimony in December. As he did then, he identified the Sea Smooth’s left turn, moments before the collision, as the key mistake. “The actual cause of the collision was the Sea Smooth’s alteration of course to port at 20:19 and a half minutes,” Pryke said. “That was absolutely the cause.” The two vessels would have narrowly missed each other if the left turn had not been made, Pryke said.
He spoke while being questioned by Charles Sussex SC, who represents Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry and the Sea Smooth’s crew. Sussex quoted regulations that say one method for crewmembers to determine whether a head-on collision was looming was to look at the other ship’s navigation lights. But Pryke said they should not rely on the lights alone.
“The whole point of the rule of the road is to keep vessels apart. It’s not about arguing with each other which rule applies,” he said. “In almost every case, you would alter course to starboard [to the captain’s right]. It’s in a navigator’s DNA that he alters to starboard.”
Pryke said the Sea Smooth, as a high-speed vessel, should have been the “first one to alter course” when it foresaw a collision.
“At that stage, in fairness to the Lamma IV, because of the relative speeds of the vessels, [the captain of the Lamma IV] would have had to have been very, very slick to have avoided it,” he said.
The Sea Smooth left the scene soon after the crash, and 39 people died.
The inquiry also heard yesterday that Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry’s guidelines telling ferry coxswains how to react, after a collision with another vessel, could be “confusing”.
In one section the guidelines tell the helmsman to “steer away from the [ship’s original] course”, giving no further explanation. But in another section the guidelines say they may have to stay at the site and help the other vessel.
Nelson Ng Siu-yuen, the company’s general manager, said coxswains should be able to judge for themselves whether to remain at the scene of a collision depending on the situation.
He told the inquiry the ferry company did not require coxswains to get their eyesight and health regularly checked. Sea Smooth captain Lai Sai-ming had his eyes tested in 1997 when he got his Marine Department licence, which is valid until 2023. Lai was involved in three minor accidents from 2008 to 2010.
The lack of regular check-ups was widespread in the industry, and the department did not require them, Ng said, adding that the two parties were discussing the issue.
See a Video Simulation of the Crash. Follow this link
For Video. Follow this link
Posted in News Events, Photographs, Updates, Video, tagged 10m waves, Boat crash, Boats, Force Ten Sea Trial, Huge Waves, Rough Weather, Safehaven Marine, Sea Trial on February 6, 2013| Leave a Comment »
Next time you think you’d like to take the boat out, but you take a look out the window, and think it’s a bit breezy, and then you take a look at the sea, and you are sure you just saw a whitecap, and then you think about docking the boat back in the Marina when the wind is up, and you say well it’s just too rough to go out.
Think of these guys !
This is a Boat Builders Sea Trial.
When I did an acceptance Sea Trial of my last boat, the builder gave every reason (excuse) in the world as to why “I did’nt want to take her out through the Seaway for a Sea “Sea Trial”
It will get salty !
These Pilot boats look very Salty in more ways than one.
Posted in News Events, Photographs, Updates, Video, tagged Boat crash, Boats, collision at sea, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Electric, Hong Kong ferry disaster, Lamma Island, Lamma IV, Sea Smooth, sinking on February 2, 2013| Leave a Comment »
See video simulation prepared by naval architect Dr Neville Anthony Armstrong, the expert appointed by the Comission of Enquiry into the sinking of the Lamma IV, illustrating the impact and angle of the collision of the two ferries on 1st October 2012.
Follow this link to watch the animation on YouTube.