Mourners Gather to Remember Lamma Ferry Accident Victims

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Life saverBoating accidents occur all over the world for a variety of reasons. Some are caused by unforeseen circumstances such as unfavorable weather conditions, rogue waves and mechanical mishaps, while others are the direct result of someone’s negligence. Though the attorneys at our law firm have represented many victims here in the U.S., our hearts go out to the victims and surviving loved ones of last year’s tragic Hong Kong ferry crash, which took the lives of 39 individuals and left countless others injured.

It is hard to believe the boating accident, which is considered one of the worst maritime disasters in Hong Kong history, took place one year ago. In honor of the victims who perished in the tragic crash, mourners gathered on Tuesday in Lamma Island, the site of the accident, to pay their respects to those whose lives were cut far too short.

The accident occurred in Victoria Harbour last year when a high-speed ferry collided with a party boat transporting over 120 Hong Kong Electric Company employees. The company workers had been out on the water celebrating National Day onboard the Lamma IV, enjoying the firework show, when their vessel was suddenly hit by a ferry boat.  The passenger boat sank almost immediately after the impact.

Several crew members were taken into custody after the crash after authorities say they did not “exercise the care required of them by law.” This isn’t the first time an accident like this has happened in open waters or because of crew member negligence. There are laws which all boaters must abide by depending on which state or even which country you live in. However, all crew members operating a passenger ferry, commercial vessel or even a cruise ship must be extra careful to protect their passengers from harm. Any crew member found acting in a negligent manner is subject to liability for the accident, especially one as catastrophic as this one.

Though it is extremely difficult to move past such a tragic incident, mourners are trying to do their best to carry on and have chosen to remember the victims and honor them, instead of dwelling on past memories.

The group gathered at Nga Kau Wan, the pier where the damaged vessels were docked after the boating accident, and held a two-hour ceremony complete with a food and refreshments. The ceremony was led by 17 monks and mourners all prayed for the victims “to be provided with food, drinks and shelter” in the afterworld.

”We hope our prayers can help the deceased reincarnate,” chanted the mourners.

On Oct. 1, 2012, the night of the ferry accident, monks also gathered to pray at the same beach in hopes of helping the victims find some semblance of peace.

But peace is something that has not be obtained by victims or the loved ones of those who perished in the ferry crash yet as the investigation into the accident is still ongoing.

Our boating accident lawyers understand that, a tragedy like this one cannot be just forgotten. Unfortunately, even more so when those responsible for the collision have not yet been held accountable for their actions.  But this is something that happens more often than one might think here in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world.

Though there are strict maritime laws that govern the way vessels must be operated and the skills required of each operator, many disregard these laws and engage in inappropriate and reckless behavior that leads to severe accidents, injuries and even fatalities. Then those with money and/or connections higher Defense lawyers to assist them in defending themselves from both the civil and criminal actions brought by the Governments and the family members of the injured parties.

It is for this reason that regardless of the extent of your damage following a boat crash, all victims should seek legal help to determine if they have a viable claim. Whether the accident resulted in injuries or not, victims can turn to an experienced boating accident lawyer to determine their rights and proceed with the filing of a legal claim to obtain justice for their pain and suffering.