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 Post subject: Ferry collision 01/10/12
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Major incident happening right now.

http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/englishnews/20 ... 873399.htm


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:45 pm 
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From SCMP site:
Quote:
A small ferry collided with a tug boat in waters off Lamma Island on Monday night, setting off a major rescue mission after some passengers plunged into the sea.

Police said 74 people have been rescued so far after the crash knocked them into the waters off Yung Shue Wan. Eight people, including three children, were sent to Queen Mary Hospital. At least one was unconscious.

A police officer said 20 survivors were admitted to Queen Mary Hospital, and the rest were sent to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai and Eastern Hospital.

The boat belonging to Hong Kong Electric collided into a Kaito, a small passenger ferry. About 100 people had been onboard both vessels.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:56 pm 
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I was on the Lamma ferry that departed Central at 8 pm. The ferry crashed shortly before arriving at Lamma pier. Strangely, none of the news reports I've seen so far (as of 10:51 pm), whether in Chinese or English, mentioned that the Lamma ferry crashed. The ferry crashed directly into something (apparently the gai do) and threw people forward in the cabin. About five minutes after the crash, the ferry began to take on water near the front of the cabin on the first floor. People began to be very frightened at that point. We put on life vests and went toward the back of the ferry. During this whole time, we received no information or instructions from any of the HKKF crew. I think this probably made people even more frightened. Luckily for us on the ferry, the crash seems to have occurred close to the pier, and the ferry made it to the pier, where all of the passengers disembarked, apparently with only minor injuries. When we got off, there was no rescue personnel waiting, even though at this point, it had been about fifteen minutes since the crash, and the HKKF crew seemed to be more worried about people walking off with life vests than whether or not the passengers were o.k. My wife tried to speak with the police, who eventually showed up, but they seemed equally uninterested in what had happened on the ferry.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Thanks for letting us know.

I regret I have little faith in the training of HKKF staff. And the emergency response sounds distinctly unprepared.

Sounds absolutely terrifying. I hope those on the other boat are OK.

Glad you're safe.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:22 pm 
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does anybody actually know the exact story? We've heard the lamma ferry hit a HK Electric boat, and it went down with all those workers on board? Lots of people in the water off Pak Kok corner...??


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:28 pm 
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It's a pity that the SCMP article on their website is so clearly inaccurate!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Location: Pak Kok
I am in Pak Kok. The hk electric ferry is half sunk. It's off the Pak Kok lighthouse. Helicopters are searching the sea and marine police boats are everywhere.

Here's hoping everyone is rescued.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:30 pm 
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As I mentioned, most of the media seem to be getting it wrong at this point, as only one (Apple Daily) has said that the HKKF ferry was involved in the crash, and it got it wrong too, saying that two ferries collided with each other. It's hard to know who the media are getting their reports from, but whoever it is doesn't seem to have the whole picture. At any rate, one thing that keeps coming up is that the boat that sank was a junk carrying people to go watch fireworks. If that's right, then it wasn't HK Electric workers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:37 pm 
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More from RTHK

http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/englishnews/20 ... 873399.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Reuters has got it seriously wrong.
Quote:
Ferry collides with tug in Hong Kong, search underway

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/i ... VA20121001


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:52 pm 
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Why did they use the small ferries anyway on a busy day like this? Heck, why do they even use these fookin deathtraps?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:58 pm 
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Better article now at SCMP:

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/arti ... ue-mission


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:27 am 
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TVB now reporting one dead.

RIP


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:17 am 
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Wall Street Journal reports at least 8 dead

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087 ... lenews_wsj


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:42 am 
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There was no tug boat!!!

HK Electric ferry (Lamma IV) collided with the HKKF ferry!!!

HKKF ferry is ok

HK electric ferry is currently sinking slowly

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:53 am 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
2:40am, just back from several hours talking with people and taking pictures around YSW and the ferry pier, which was swarming with media from most major local organsations, some even doing live reporting on air. I've been trying to find out as much actual info as possible amidst all the rumours and accusations. I'll add my comments and photos in the morning, too tired now....

The best summary, mostly accurate but incomplete, I've seen so far is probably the (subscription-only) SCMP story updated less than an hour ago, see below).

"Boats collide near Lamma, 8 dead amid massive rescue

Monday, 01 October, 2012, 10:18pm [1:50am, 02 Oct]
Joyce Ng, Danny Mok, Simpson Cheung, Stuart Lau and Gary Cheung

A ferry collided with a kaito in waters off Lamma Island on Monday night, knocking passengers into the sea. At least eight people died in the incident as of 12.50am.

Police said 101 people had been rescued so far in waters off Yung Shue Wan. Eight people, including three children, were sent to Queen Mary Hospital. At least one was unconscious.

It was the second calamity to strike on National Day. Earlier, a 15-year-old youth was swept away in Shek O and drowned. A second boy was missing feared dead and a teenager girl was pulled from the water alive.

The accident happened at about 8.30pm when a Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry vessel collided with a Hong Kong Electric boat for staff activities in waters just off Yung Shue Wan.

There were 124 people on the HK Electric vessel. The party had set off from Lamma to Central to watch the National Day celebrations.

One of the vessels partially sank, with half of it sticking out of the water at an angle of 90 degrees.

A man brought ashore at the pier near South Horizons in Aberdeen said: “After 10 minutes out a boat crashed into ours from the side at very high speed. The rear of the ferry started to sink. I suddenly found myself deep under the sea. I swam hard and tried to grab a life buoy. I don’t know where my two kids are.”

Another woman at the pier said: “I swam for a long time to the surface and swallowed a lot of water. Then I found a rescue boat.”

About a dozen passengers waiting for ambulances at the pier were wrapped with blankets and aluminium foil to keep warm.

The HK Electric boat was carrying 121 staff and family members and three crew members. It was on the way to watch the National Day fireworks display over Victoria Harbour when it hit the other boat five minutes after leaving Lamma, said a spokesman for HK Electric.

He said the boat can accommodate more than 200 passengers, and there were sufficient rescue facilities on the vessel.

The ferry was operated by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry, which said several of its passengers were injured during the incident. The ferry was headed to Lamma Island from Hong Kong Island.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying arrived at the South Horizons pier at about 10.45pm. He said the government’s emergency co-ordination centre was now helping the rescue efforts.

“Relevant government departments are making all-out efforts to rescue people who fell into the sea after the collision. Senior officials and I will closely monitor the situation. We will do whatever we can,” he said.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man arrived at Queen Mary Hospital about 10.45pm to inspect the rescue operation.

A police officer said 20 survivors were admitted to Queen Mary Hospital, and the rest were sent to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai and Eastern Hospital."


Adding a bit more detail to the SCMP story:

It was HKKF's 8pm Central-YSW ferry Sea Smooth (the one painted with the bright Asia's World City logos and ribbons) colliding on the front left side head-on with a Gaido carrying HK Electric staff and their families to see the fireworks, after a tour and dinner in the Power Station, at about 8:20pm just outside the light tower marker in-between YSW and Pak Kok Village, just below the Lamma Forest rocky outcrop above Pak Kok.

An eyewitness on the Sea Smooth said that there were only minor injuries and about 4 people went to the Lamma Clinic for a checkup after the ferry arrived at the YSW ferry pier, remaining there for several hours while the regular ferry services continued on the Pak Kok side of the pier.
HK Electric's Gaido capsized so quickly that many didn't have time to put on life vests. At least 20 are still missing and more casualties might sadly but likely be found by morning daylight by the divers....

Photos in processing, uploaded this morning....


Attachments:
File comment: (C) SCMP, Sep 1, 2012
SCMP-pix515.jpg
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:59 am 
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HK Electric press release just in, in Chinese only so far. Here's the release, plus a quick & dirty Google translation:

港燈對沉船意外深表難過 會全力協助當局救援及善後

港燈一艘載有員工及家屬觀賞國慶煙花匯演的船隻,於十月一日(星期一)晚上於南丫島對開海面遭另一艘船攔腰撞倒,導致港燈船隻發生沉船意外,港燈上下對此深表難過,公司會全力協助調查事故,找出肇事原因,並向有需要的員工及家屬提供援助。
港燈營運董事阮水師表示,港燈的船在晚上八時十五分離開南丫島接載同事前往觀賞煙花。開船約五分鐘,有一艘船攔腰撞來,之後不顧而去。港燈船員已即時報警,由於船尾開始下沉,同事已立即進行搶救工作,協助乘客穿上救生衣,幫助他們逃生。

他指出,港燈在知悉事件後,已立刻在港燈總部設立緊急控制中心,並在南丫島及鴨脷洲分三個地方協調支援拯救工作。有同事在南丫島協助直昇機送傷者往醫院,同時亦有同事在鴨脷洲協助救傷車送傷者往醫院。

阮水師說:「我們對事故深感難過,因為原本今晚員工參與公司安排的煙花觀賞活動,詎料發生意外。我們會協助警方、海事處的拯救工作及調查事故原因。」
阮水師指出,肇事的船屬港燈所有,可載二百多人,而發生意外時,船上載有一百二十多人。警方、消防、海事處繼續進行救援工作。港燈十分關注同事情況,已派同事前往四間醫院慰問,並在場了解及提供協助。

港燈已設立熱線2843 3391供員工家屬查詢,並會主動和參與活動的同事及家屬聯絡,盡力提供協助和支援。

Automatic translation, proper English release to follow in a few hours:

HEC deeply saddened shipwrecks will make every effort to assist the authorities in rescue and rehabilitation.

HEC boat carrying the employees and their families to watch the National Day Fireworks Display vessels, on October 1, 1998 (Monday) night was knocked down by another vessel down the middle, HEC vessels shipwrecks occurred off the coast of Lamma Island, Hong Kong lights up and down deeply sad, the company will spare no effort to assist the investigation into the accident to identify the cause of the accident, and to provide assistance to employees and their families need.

HEC Director of Operations, said Nguyen Navy the HEC boats leave at quarter past eight p.m. Lamma Island to pick up a colleague to watch the fireworks. A boat down the middle hit to sail for about five minutes, after failing to stop. HEC crew has immediate alarm, as the stern began to sink, and colleagues have been rescue work immediately to help the passengers to wear life jackets, and help them escape.

He pointed out that the HEC aware of the incident immediately at HEC headquarters to set up an emergency control center in three places, and Lamma Island and Ap Lei Chau coordination support for the rescue work. Colleagues on Lamma Island to assist the helicopter to send the injured to hospital, while another colleague to assist in Ap Lei Chau ambulance to send the injured to the hospital.

Yuen Sui said: "We are deeply sorry for the accident, because the original tonight employees to participate in the company arranged fireworks viewing activities expected, nothing accidents we will assist the police, the Marine Department of the rescue work and investigation of the cause of the accident."

The Nguyen Navy ship accident are the HEC all, can carry 200 people, accidents, over 120 people on board. Police, Fire, Marine Department to continue the rescue work. HEC is very concerned about colleagues circumstances, has sent colleagues to go to four hospitals condolences, presence and understanding and provide assistance.

HEC has set up a hotline for employees' families 28,433,391 queries, and will take the initiative to contact colleagues and their families and participate in activities, try to provide assistance and support.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:11 am 
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Coming back on the 23:30 ferry departing Central for Yung Shue Wan, I could see many boats searching the water for survivors, and one helicopter flying overhead as we docked.

We did slow down dramatically as we passed by the search area, presumably for safety reasons. But no information at all was given to the passengers at any point between boarding in Central and getting off in Yung Shue Wan and we weren't told that an accident had occurred.

In addition, one staff member carried 2 or 3 large rice pots (the type taken out of a rice cooker) into the forward cabin at one point...I also heard the captain talking quite loudly sounding irritated to the same staff member for quite a while right before we docked and eventually he came to open the door and let us out as we had docked...

I don't speak Cantonese yet but it didn't inspire confidence. I wonder, don't they have breaks to eat? And hasn't HKKF had several near-accidents and accidents over the last year or so? Is this normal for a ferry company?

Rest in peace to all the victims...now being reported as 25 :(
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19790977


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:23 am 
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Looking at the damage caused to the Sea Smooth, one would dread to think of the number of casualties had it been one of the small HKKF catamarans - it would have disintegrated on impact. We must call for them to be banned.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:48 am 
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This is truly awful. I didn't see the HK Electric boat myself--we were too scared on the HKKF ferry, but I heard about it from a fellow passenger afterwards that it went down really quickly. But he said it was a junk boat but now from the pictures, it looks enclosed inside so some people must have trapped in given how quickly it has gone down.

I hope they will find more survivors as its day now. And I hope they rest in peace.

It could have been us on the HKKF ferry, or both us and the HK electric boat. The only thing that prevented it from happening was that we were a sturdier boat.

One accusation was that HKKF left without picking up HK Electric passengers. But given how water was coming into our cabin, the crew might not have known the extent of the damage to our boat and they decided that it's best we go to YSW asap.

I have heard of HKKF staff complained of low wages on the ferry. And I have seen them taking their rice pots around too. It was a very busy day on Lamma so these HKKF guys could have been made to work really hard all day. At any rate, I hope there will be a thorough investigation into this, exactly how this accident happened, and the safety and working conditions of HKKF's ferries.


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