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Saturday, February 14, 2015, 17:23

Captain guilty of manslaughter in ferry crash

By Xinhua
 Captain guilty of manslaughter in ferry crash

This file picture taken on Oct 2, 2012 shows the bow of the Lamma IV boat partially submerged during rescue operations the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry. (AFP PHOTO / FILES / ANTONY DICKSON)

HONG KONG - The captain of Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry's Sea Smooth, Lai Sai-ming, was on Saturday found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter in relation to the 2012 Lamma island ferry disaster.

He was also found guilty of endangering the lives of others at sea by a Hong Kong court.

Hong Kong Electric's Lamma IV skipper Chow Chi-wai was acquitted of manslaughter but was convicted of endangering life.

The jury reached the verdicts after three days of deliberations.

The defendants will be sentenced on Monday.

Thirty-nine people were killed and nearly 100 others injured in the ferry collision happened on Oct 1, 2012, which was the most serious maritime accident in Hong Kong in the last 40 years.

Maritime experts have said that Sea Smooth captain had taken a port tack around one minute before the collision, which was in clear contravention of international maritime regulations. Related regulations stipulate that two vessels, which might collide, should take a starboard tack to avoid collision.

The captain of the Lamma IV, which was carrying more than 100 people to see the National Day fireworks in the Victoria Harbor and sank shortly after the collision, either did not take positive action in time to avoid the collision.

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