There but for the grace of God go…mmmm, a lot of other people I suspect.
As reported by Maritime Advocate Online:
Hong Kong Jailings
Readers may recall how on 22Mar08 the offshore supply ship “Neftegaz-67” collided with the panamx bulk carrier “Yang Hai” near Hong Kong, resulting in the death of 18 Ukrainian crew members on the supply ship follwing her capsizing. This was the worst maritime accident locally since the capsize of the Macau ferry “Fat Shan” capsized during Typhoon Rose in August 1971.
The two masters and two pilots involved have all been jailed following a 90 day trial in a Hong Kong district court before Judge Susan D’Almada Remedios. Yuriy Kulemesin, the Ukrainian master of the supply ship recceived a sentence of three years and two months for breaking collision regulation rules five, eight and nine (failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to avoid a collision and failure to navigate properly in a narrow channel. Tang Dock-Wah, the senior pilot on board the bulker was sentenced to three years imprisonment. The “Yao Hai” master Lin Bo and the ship’s junior pilot, Bruce Chun were both sent down for 30 months, all three for breaking collision regulations five and eight.
By all accounts a horrible casualty marked by the judge imposing a deterrent sentence for serious errors of navigation to mark the loss of 18 lives. It is not surprising the court gallery was packed with the families of the pilots, for the previous imperviousness of pilots to paying the legal consequences of professional negligence has gone the way of the seafarers in Hong Kong also.
Just be careful out there folks…I for one am glad to be ashore and only have to worry about the highway code these days.