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Lamma IV - 1st October 2012 - 39 Souls lost #maritimehistory #OTD


Lamma IV – On 1 October 2012, the ferry collided with another passenger vessel off Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong. The day was the National Day of the People's Republic of China, and Lamma IV was headed for the commemorative firework display, scheduled to take place half an hour later. Many of the victims were the employees from Hongkong Electric Company and their relatives. It was the highest maritime death toll in Hong Kong since 1971.

The accident involved a Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry-operated passenger ferry, the Sea Smooth (海泰號), and a Hongkong Electric Company-owned vessel, the Lamma IV (南丫四號), with 121 passengers and 3 crew members on board. The passenger ferry was travelling from Central to Yung Shue Wan, while the Hongkong Electric Company vessel was travelling from Lamma Island to Central. Passengers on the Lamma IV were on a one-day tour organised by the company, and were headed to Central for the fireworks display commemorating the National Day of the PRC following a tour of the Lamma Power Station. Participants of the tour mostly joined as families, and as a result there were a number of children among the passengers.

At approximately 20:20, the Sea Smooth crashed into the Lamma IV on the port side. The bow of the Sea Smooth hit the stern of the Lamma IV, rupturing the ship's two watertight compartments and thereby allowing them to quickly fill with water.

The ship soon capsized with the rear sinking into the sea. The vessel reportedly went down so quickly that more than 100 passengers were thrown into the water unprotected despite the abundance of life-vests on board. The ferry left the scene after the accident and continued on to Yung Shue Wan pier. The front of Sea Smooth was damaged and its captain was also sent to the local clinic after the accident, along with several passengers, for injuries.

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