Marine police are investigating an accident where a 8.5 m speedboat’s propeller hit two amateur divers in Sai Kung on Sunday. It’s understood that they were hit near Tsim Chau off Tai Long Sai Wan while emerging.
The police have arrested a father and his son, who were on the speedboat when the incident took place. The father, a 53-year-old solicitor, was behind the wheel with his son by his side.. Their boat was detained at the Marine Police East Division base in Sai Kung. They could face four years in jail and a penalty of over HK$200,000 if convicted of endangering others’ lives.
One of the divers, Lai Chun-sin, 30, a Fire Services Department probationary station officer at Lau Fau Shan Fire Station, sustained critical injuries after getting hit in his chest and legs, which may need to be amputated. The other Choi Wai-kin, 29, an officer from the Correctional Services Department’s Shek Pik Prison, also sustained leg injuries. A female diver escaped unscathed. They were rescued by the Marine Police and brought to shore. Lai was taken to Pamela Youde Eastern Hospital by a government helicopter, followed by Choi.
Their friends, who were on a leisure boat, called for help. Lai is a licensed diver and an experienced tutor. Choi and the other diver are his students. The speedboat came straight in the trio’s direction, even though markers had been deployed.
The marine police regional crime unit is investigating the incident.
The Fire Services and the Correctional Services departments said their welfare staff were in touch with the victim’s families to provide assistance.
Paul Hodgson, of Oceanway Corp., a local Sai Kung company that does dive training in the Sai Kung area, told BUZZ that such accidents were not common in Hong Kong, and that divers are taught to put down markers in areas where other boats were operating. Also, areas frequented by divers were shown on Marine Department Notice 14031, and boat owners should be aware of them. He suggests that maybe this notice need updating owing to the increasing popularity of recreational diving in other areas.