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Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma
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Author:  lamma air [ Tue May 27, 2014 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

Have not been on lammazine for a while now. Today I was not happy with the malfunctioning water tight doors. These are the ones we normally enter pans exit the boat on. Today one of the doors was not working and not achieving a water tight seal, in fact there was a 10 cm gap at the top of the door. The crew were well aware of this and seemed more interested in standing by the door and asking me to sit down and stop making a fuss, although as always the language barrier was used as an excuses. I asked for the ferry to turn back as. It was unsafe to be at sea. They refused to do so and just told me to sit down. For a few minutes they did manually manage to close the door so no light could be seen around the water tight seal but they were unable to close the two handles that maintain keep the door closed. In the end the door opened back up as it was before. At this stage the staff were trying to mend the door by accessing the hull but failed to do so. Once I called the police they then started to get much more proactive. I was met at the Lamma ferry pier by two police officers who recorded my complaint, but they were powerless to do anything about the ferry as this comes under the marine department, so again the police were unable to enforce the safe operation of a ferry service. The ferry did return to Hong Kong island with passengers but I was unable to see if the door was locked properly as I was not into the service. A very kind gentleman in the boat approached me and said " Thank you for dealing with this, they will not do anything until more people die". A very sad reflection of Hong Kong's attitude to marine safety. Are we happy to have a service provider with such a casual disregard for passenger safety? Please reply to my post if you have any feelings about this either for or against my concerns. Here is the email I sent to 1823 and scmp

Dear 1823 With regard to Hkkf service to Lamma yeung shue whan 1515 service 27 may 2014. It is with great regret I report 3 concerns to you regarding this service
1. Malfunction of water tight door and failure to close properly. Crew were aware of this situation and despite my complaint and request to turn the boat around refused to do so. I spoke directly to the captain and his assistant who laughed at me and refused to deal with my enquiry. See attached photo which shows doors not properly sealed. Also see video which shows manual operation of door on arrival to Lamma island. Due to the serous nature if this event I phoned the police after warming the crew several times
2 the crew then attempted to mend the motor by accessing the boats hull at the instruction of the captain by removing a manhole cover in the main corridor area. There were inadequate safety provisions made and no warning signs about this, I am concerned that a passenger could fall down. Please see attached photo
3 Failure to display crew names. This an ongoing complaint, no crew details were provided on the crew display board

Officer Go came to Lamma island ferry pier to deal with my enquiry and a police report has been submitted.

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Author:  Alan [ Wed May 28, 2014 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

lamma air wrote:
two police officers who recorded my complaint, but they were powerless to do anything about the ferry as this comes under the marine department

You should talk directly to the Marine Dept if you haven't already.
Passenger Ships Safety tel 2852-4500

Their office is in the Harbour Building, near the Central Piers.

Author:  lamma air [ Thu May 29, 2014 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

Just got off the 1550 service today and was a bit concerned that the safety latches on the water tight doors were not used on this service. Have a look at the photos attached and see what you think. When I asked the staff to use the locks they simply ignored me and said no. Ok as always there is room for linguistic complications in such matters. To show what I meant I actually closed the latch myself. Another passenger whose opinion I respect informed me that the staff work very hard (which I agree with) and that as the boat was so high out of the water the locks were not needed. He then talked about how low in the water other passenger boats are that do not have such features. Again I agree with the gentleman but the vessels he was referring are not high speed craft and users choose to use the service. I have no choice other than Hkkf and have to use this service. The gentlemen was then kind enough to tell me I was pi%#ing him off and advised me to chill out or move off Lamma and use the bus. I will take his kind and considered advice that was so eloquently conveyed to me into consideration. However if I take his advise the safety concerns remain for all ferry users.

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Author:  lamma air [ Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

Have just got this very fair and good reply from the marine department which shows they are doing things and responding to concerns.
Regarding your concerns we have discussed with the ferry company to find some areas of improvement.
It is not a legal requirement to display crew list onboard but only the company's commitment to provide better customer services. As replied by the company, in accordance with their internal guideline, crew members are required to display their name tapes during navigation. Related notice has been issued to remind their duty in this aspect.
Spot check was carried out by MD officer in mid-April,2014 and find in order. The condition of life jackets is checked during annual survey and spot checks.
As replied by the company, there will be at least two on-board inspections before and after routine sailings. It is estimated that the life jackets might be taken out of seats or storage cabinet during scheduled sailings. Crew will store it to original position if it is placed improperly.
3) Gangplank door not properly secured, Man-hole opened during sea passage without warning strips to alert passengers.
As replied by the company, the engineer assigned to "Sea Speed" on that day, problem has been notified and the gangplank was thus secured manually with rope. On the other hand he had opened and entered the one-man-fitted cabin hatch cover to urgently repair the winch, asked a sailor to stand near the hatch to alert passengers and avoid accident. The movement of gangplank had been fixed afterward. It is believed that there should be some misunderstanding between our crew and the passenger.
The ferry company admitted there was some communication problem between the crew and passengers and promised to make improvement. We also reminded the ferry company to ensure proper warning signals to be in place to alert passengers.

Author:  Anton [ Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma


I hope the ferry people realize not all Lamma residents are freaks.

Author:  lamma air [ Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

Anton wrote:

I hope the ferry people realize not all Lamma residents are freaks.

I am sure they do otherwise they would be inundated with valid concerns like mine. Thanks for the useful and mature feedback Anton :D

Author:  lamma air [ Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

For once I am happy, yes Anton even a Lamma freak can be happy with the ferry service. Here is the email I sent the marine department a few days ago.

Thanks for your reply. Please could you clarify if it is necessary to pull the handles to the closed position or is this unnecessary. Please understand I want the ferry to be safe but also I do not want to waste your time as I know your staff are very busy ensuring the safety of every passenger and crew member in Hong Kong as your mission statement clearly stated.
As regards the crew name plates I was on the serene vessel and I am pleased to say names were displayed. I am also pleased to say the 2030 service to Lamma had the safety handless properly closed cargo was handled properly. The crew assisted passengers entry to the boat and all life jackets were properly stowed. I watched the crew make a quick visual check of both decks. The coxswain of this vessel was Mr Fung Chor Pat cx041 please pass my appreciation to him and his crew for ensuring our safety. I am very aware I have been critical of Hkkf in the past. Some would say unfairly so which I understand. It is only fair and ethical that I should thank the company when they listen to my concerns. I will talk personally to the ferry company to express my thanks. I would ask the marine department or 1823 to do the same with this email. Once again my most sincere thanks to Captain Fung Chor Pat and his very professional crew. I will also share this email with my community."

So you can see things can change for the better and at least on the above boat with this coxswain they have. Still waiting for the marine departments reply regarding use of the locking handles. Will post the reply as soon as I get it

Author:  lamma air [ Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Water tight door malfunction on 1515 boat to Lamma

I was on the 1550 to Lamma today and witnessed a marine department inspection, it appears that today was an inspection day as other ferry users have told me the inspector has been going back and forth today looking at each boat. I was very impressed with the inspector who got the staff to stop kids running around and sitting on the front seats at the top of the stair well. The inspector also made sure both handles on the water tight doors were engaged and made it very clear to the sailor that using one handle is not enough.
The marine department have also confirmed to me that the locking handles must be engaged when the ferry was in motion and not doing so breaks the law, I think this would be subject to the standard fine of $5000. When berthing they were also very careful, and opnened the doors at the last possible minute rather than as the ferry approaches which I have seen and recorded several times. So the guidelines and laws are very clear and they have been reinforced over and over again to the ferry company. Unfortunately it is now getting down to individual crew members and boats that do not follow the rules. I would never want an individual crew member to be singled out but at the same time I want the ferry to be as safe as possible for everyone, passengers and crew, it really is as smile as that. Having lost a close childhood friend at the age of 12 to the Zebruger disaster it is an issue close to my heart. Ok I have stepped on a quite a lot of feet but it may just save a life.

This was the marine department's reply when asked if the locking handles need to be used on the water tight doors.

"For the matter of the crew are not properly closing the exit doors using the safety catch: "LVS carried out a spot check onboard Sea Serene on 5 June 2014. During the check, it was found that all doors were properly closed. We have also reminded the Marine and Safety Executive of HKKF that all passenger exits must be properly closed during navigation. "

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