Lamma Forums

Ferry collision 01/10/12
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Author:  PNWxplant [ Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

"help the prosecution prove the coxswains had failed to keep a proper lookout and take adequate actions to avoid a collision"

That is what I said within a couple of days after the accident. Granted, it's pretty well what causes every marine accident.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

HKKF and HK Electric "Skippers 'grossly negligent' in tragedy":

(SCMP headline this Thu, quoting the prosecutor closing argument, as the 58-day trial is getting close to a verdict now fter 54 court days).

I just watched from my Pak Kok rooftop, 9:10am, what looked like a frontal close encounter in almost exactly the same spot where the Lamma Ferry Disaster happened:

9am ferry YSW-Central and Aberdeen-Pak Kok-YSW ferry, leaving 9:05 from Pak Kok, crossing each other at what looked like normal speed just metres apart, just outside the light buoy off Pak Kok. No photo, unfortunately.

Who was on those ferries this morning, 9:10am, and could tell us more about how close they really came, please?

My wife and I taking the small Pak Kok ferry almost daily (almost the same model and same manufacturer as the HK Electric staff ferry, where all the casualties happened), I'm seriously worried about another potential ferry disaster...

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

SCMP today, Sun, Feb 15:

Lamma Ferry Disaster: The Verdicts

Sea Smooth skipper convicted of manslaughter
as Lamma ferry captain cleared of same charges

"After almost four days of deliberation a High Court jury returned to find Lai Sai-ming - captain of the Sea Smooth ferry - guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter."

The HKKF ferry captain was found guilty of manslaughter; he and the HK Electric captain were found guilty of endangering the safety of others at sea.
Sentencing will happen on Monday. (SCMP story)

There are many stories and pictures about this deadliest boat accident in Hong Kong in 40 years on this website, but the SCMP's "Lamma ferry disaster" section does a fine job of providing the facts and comments.

Author:  grannyt [ Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Sea Smooth Captain jailed for 8 years ... breaking news on SCMP.

Author:  Alan [ Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

RTHK news: ... 56&1077647

Lamma ferry captain jailed for eight years

The coxswain of the Seasmooth - one of the two ferries that collided off Lamma Island on National Day in 2012 - has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
He was convicted by a jury for the manslaughter of 39 people in the tragedy, and endangering the safety of others at sea.
Passing sentence, the judge said the defendant, Lai Sai-Ming's action had fallen way below the professionalism required for a coxswain of a fast ferry in busy waters.
The captain of Lamma Four - the other boat involved in the tragedy - Chow Chi-Wai, was jailed for nine months, for endangering the safety of others at sea.
The judge said his crime lies in failing to react to the unexpected approach of Seasmooth. He had been acquitted of manslaughter.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

SCMP Editorial today:

Hong Kong must heed the lessons of Lamma ferry disaster

In the meantime, same day the verdicts have been announced, Feb 16, another person drowned at the Pak Kok Ferry Pier, just a few hundred metres away from the disaster location, very close to the "narrow corner" Pak Kok buoy, exactly where our Lamma ferries still cross each other at full speed and pretty close several times a week...

Author:  PNWxplant [ Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

completely inadequate. The captain of costa concordia got 1 year per life for 34 lives, and that is not even really appropriate for the level of culpability. Shame Shame shame on those judges. I wonder how much they were paid?

Author:  Lamma_kat [ Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

I cannot help feel sorry for Lai Sai-ming for making such a terrible navigation error, with such awful consequences for the dead and their families, and the guilt he now lives with. Does he deserve to spend the next 8 years in prison? I'd really like to know why he turned the wheel the wrong way? How many hours had he been at the wheel that day ferrying hoards of tourists back and forth? Was tiredness a contributing factor? If so, the ferry company should share the blame, and maybe even us for wanting such cheap transport, resulting in inadequate manning of the vessels. I hear these ferrymen earn just HK$15,000 a month for crazy long hours, for shouldering the huge responsibility for the lives on board and other vessels plying our busy waters, and for their expert and highly technical skills needed to navigate a ferry. How many expats on this island would tolerate living on such a wage? There seems to be no doubt about Mr Lai's error, but wider issues may have dumped him into the misery his life now is. The culpability should not end with him. It seems a waste of public money to incarcerate him for long given he is not a criminal by nature or intent, but terrible error on the day.

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Two marine officers charged over Hong Kong ferry crash that left 39 dead

Senior official and retired ship inspector from Marine Department will attend court tomorrow over their roles in the deadly 2012 sea collision (SCMP, Tue, Mar 17, 2015)

"A senior official and a retired ship inspector, both of the Marine Department, have been arrested over the 2012 Lamma ferry collision that cost 39 lives. They will appear in court tomorrow.

The department's assistant director, So Ping-chi, 58, faces one count of misconduct in public office, and retired senior inspector Wong Kam-ching, 60, is charged with perjury.

So and Wong were invited yesterday to Central police station for inquiries, during which they were formally arrested and charged, a police source familiar with the case said."

Read more... (Paywall after a few free stories/month)

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

From ejinsight:

Three years after Lamma tragedy, victims’ kin still seek answers

Family members of the 2012 Lamma Island ferry collision victims have blasted the government over perceived tardiness over the investigation into the disaster, pointing out that Marine Department officials are yet to be fully held to account for their lapses.

The victims’ relatives also hit out at the Department of Justice for withholding important data from an internal investigation report, Apple Daily reported.

As authorities are not making all facts public, it has become difficult to file for civil claims, the family members say.

A woman surnamed Ku, whose son died in the Oct. 1, 2012 ferry disaster, pointed out that the captains of both vessels — Sea Smooth captain Lai Sai-ming and Lamma IV captain Chow Chi-wai — were convicted of manslaughter by the High Court and handed prison terms.

However, Marine Department officials have largely escaped prosecution, even though the investigation report of an independent commission has confirmed that the department failed to spot the absence of watertight compartments during inspections of the vessels, Ku said.

The failure on the part of the officials led to the tragedy, as Lamma IV sank quickly after collision, she said.

The ferry collision on Oct. 1 three years ago killed 39 people and injured more than 90, in what was Hong Kong’s worst maritime disaster in more than 40 years.

When victims’ families requested a copy of the investigation report, hoping to find out who at Marine Department had failed to perform their duties, the Justice Department provided the report in June, but with names, places and time taken out.

“It is a shame that the 39 victims have yet to be issued a certificate of death, three years after the disaster,” Ku complained.

She said she is filing another petition in court to seek a full copy of the investigation report, and that she would subsequently seek civil compensation from the government.

Legislator James To, who has been assisting the victims, said some sources had suggested that over a dozen Marine Department officials could potentially face prosecution. However, in the end only two people were deemed to bear some responsibility.

Two marine officers were charged in March. So Ping-chi, 58, an assistant director in the Marine Department, faces one count of misconduct in public office, while retired senior inspector Wong Kam-ching, 60, was charged with perjury.

However, the charges were not related to the department’s failure to detect the absence of watertight compartments.

The Justice Department should offer an explanation to the public on the matter, To said, adding that the victims’ families must also be allowed to read the investigation report in full.

Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, said he will meet with families of the victims on Wednesday to explain to them the progress of the prosecution.

Contact us at

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

SCMP, Insight Opinion, 15/10/10:

Lamma ferry tragedy: So much for justice and equality before the law when government officials are not held to account over deaths

"Philip Bowring says the decision not to hold Marine Department officials responsible for the regulatory lapses that contributed to the Lamma ferry tragedy is unconscionable...

Factors responsible for the death toll included the lack of a bulkhead door; this lack, together with the placing of 8.25 tonnes of additional ballast, caused the vessel to sink at a steep angle, making escape very difficult.

How convenient to place all the blame on the skippers of the vessels rather than on officials and others presiding over a failure to implement safety regulations and making design changes.

It is worth remembering just how thorough was the official inquiry, which heard 113 witnesses, including several experts, and whose report ran to 186 pages. Factors other than navigation responsible for the death toll included: lack of a bulkhead door specified in the original design; this lack, together with the placing of 8.25 tonnes of additional ballast, caused the vessel to sink at a steep angle, making escape very difficult. Other factors included below-design-thickness hull plating, lack of adequate children's life jackets, inaccessibility of other life jackets, and upper-deck seats which became detached from the deck, catapulting passengers towards the rapidly sinking stern. The Lamma IV also had fewer crew than its licence required..."


Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Lamma Island ferry collides with Mainland steamer almost 3 years after deadly accident (HK Free Press, Sep 18, 2015)

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

"A retired Marine Department ship inspector has been found guilty of perjury after being accused of making false statements to an inquiry into the 2012 Lamma ferry disaster."


Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Former marine inspector jailed for 15 months (RTHK)

15 months jail for ex-ship inspector after giving false testimony during Lamma Disaster hearing (HK Free Press)

If you can see behind the SCMP paywall, there's an entire special section about the Lamma Ferry Crash
SCMP-Lamma-Ferry-Crash-b.jpg [ 309.49 KiB | Viewed 3392 times ]

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Author:  Lamma-Gung [ Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ferry collision 01/10/12

Almost 5 years since the Lamma Ferry Disaster, Oct 1, 2012...

Any local commemorations planned?

Some of my photos from back then...

!DSC07354.jpg [ 76.12 KiB | Viewed 2919 times ]
!DSC07338.jpg [ 189.39 KiB | Viewed 2919 times ]

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