Ferry’s Crew Criticized for Emergency Response

A recent ferry accident near Lamma Island in Asia claimed the lives of 27 people and injured many more, and now the conditions and emergency protocols of the Hong Kong Harbor are being questioned. A vessel carrying companies on an employee pleasure-cruise to watch fireworks collided with a passenger ferry. Hong Kong has long served as one of the largest transportation hubs in the world—more than 425,000 vessels passed through the port in 2010. Researchers claim that statistically, it remains one of the safest ports, but the recent accident has raised concerns.

“People will start querying whether Hong Kong’s marine traffic management has been kept up to pace,” says Albert Lai, a civil engineer and think-tank consultant at The Professional Commons. “It certainly affects Hong Kong’s international reputation as a shipping hub.”

Many of the passengers who were rescued complained about the harbor and the response efforts once they were back on land. Some aboard the ferry claimed that it was as if the crew had no idea how to handle the situation.

“The crew was terrible, useless,” says Clare Kirkman, a 43-year-old who was on the ferry. “They just stood around as we were putting the life jackets on. The crew didn’t seem to know what was going on. The worst thing is that they seemed more concerned with getting the life jacket from us when we got to the pier. It was a good 10 or 15 minutes until we got to the ferry pier but I didn’t see any ambulances or police. It was a quiet ferry but it was concerning the ferry people weren’t more helpful. God forbid if it had been a school ferry.”

The crew on these ferries must always be prepared for accidents, even if they are rare. Latti & Anderson LLP has secured damages for persons injured in these types of ferry accidents in the past—contact our firm for a free consultation.

Latti & Anderson LLP—Boston maritime attorneys.