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Stand News Preservation

2012 Lamma Island Death Reports

A Project to Preserve Stand News Articles

One of Hong Kong’s last-standing pro-democracy media outlets, Stand News (立場新聞), was raided by the Hong Kong Police Force on December 29, 2021. Stand News was forced to dismiss its staff and cease operations. This English translation of Stand News’s investigative reporting on the 2012 Lamma Island ferry collision is an effort to preserve some of the award-winning articles that Stand News produced during its lifetime. Unfortunately, due to the mass deletion of all Stand News social media accounts, most videos on the original website have been lost.

Stand News: 2012 Lamma Island Death Reports

In 2012, on Lamma Island’s shores, 39 passengers lost their lives in a horrific collision between two passenger ferries. Family members of the deceased obtained over 2,200 pages of reports concerning the incident. Based on these reports and 90 witness accounts, Stand News uncovered the Marine Department’s inept training and other problems that led to the collision. Despite a police recommendation that a coroner’s court be convened so that the Marine Department could be heard in public, the coroner’s inquest was never convened. As a result, family members of the dead could only use the 2,200 pages of reports to find the truth behind the fatal collision. However, Stand News’s investigations found contradictions between these reports and testimonies from the ferry factory and other witnesses. Higher-ups of the ferry companies refused to comment on the incident. 

Would this be the end of the search for the true reason why 39 passengers had their lives cut short in 2012? Was someone trying to hide the truth? Stand News’s investigative reporting on the 2012 Lamma Island ferry collision attempted to retrace the event from start to finish, in order to decipher the truth.

Lamma Part 1 New Cover

Part 1

Inconsistent confessions. Ferry’s faults revealed.

Lamma Part 2 New Cover

Part 2

Police investigation of the missing watertight door. The shipyard drawing company’s contradictory statements.

Lamma Part 3 New Cover

Part 3

Police’s meeting with the senior management over working hours. Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry refused to assist in investigation.

Lamma Part 4 New Cover

Part 4

Exposing the Marine Department’s faulty ship inspections.

Lamma Part 5 New Cover

Part 5

The last 118 seconds of the Lamma IV: Loss and goodbyes.

Lamma Part 6 New Cover

Part 6

The story of survival.

Final Words from the Reporters

Please, in these times of survival, let us do more stories of survivors. Together.

Translator’s Note

I was originally tasked with translating these articles in May 2022. The translation was completed within a month but never published due to personal reasons. Now, with freedom of press ever deteriorating in Hong Kong, it seems a good time for these award-winning pieces of investigative journalism to be shared. I hope everyone who reads these articles carries on the spirit of these reports, photographers, and artists who continued their hard work in a time of oppression.

As a final note, please do continue to support independent news platforms in Hong Kong. Many former Stand News/Apple Daily employees work for these platforms. Without them, Hong Kong’s transformation into another Chinese-controlled city will be even quicker.

Sources and Credit

Credit: Stand News
Reporters/採訪 – 陳信熙、羅繼盛、鄭思思、陳婉婷、黃穎彤
Photography/拍攝 – Fred Cheung Kayla Chan Matthew Mak Nasha Chan 阿生 頌賢
Art/美術 – joyleejs Joyce Lo 劉仁顯 

Archive of Stand News Articles
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:

Translated in collaboration with IFC