A jetfoil traveling from Hong Kong to Macau on Friday morning crashed into a breakwater, injuring 70 people, one of whom required surgery.
The vessel was carrying 220 passengers and 13 crew members when it hit the seawall before listing to its right off Macau’s Outer Harbor.
The Marine and Water Bureau revealed that preliminary investigations show that the captain of the jetfoil failed to make a turn, leading the ferry to crash into the breakwater.
According to a statement issued by Macau government, a Hong Kong resident, aged 68, suffered injuries to his cervical spine. He underwent surgery last Friday.
The Macau government said it will be launching an investigation into the accident.
The Health Bureau assisted a total of 70 passengers who were injured following the crash. In the Macau hospitals, 46 men and 24 women, aged between 17 and 69, underwent treatment for minor injuries.
Most of them came from Hong Kong, whereas three were Macau residents and four were South Korean. One Japanese traveler and two from Thailand were also among those injured. Moreover, nine crew members were also hurt.
All passengers were discharged from hospital on Friday, except the Hong Kong resident who underwent surgery.
The Marine and Water Bureau said that a hole was broken in the vessel’s bow and the engines could be seen through the hole.
“After the crash, the vessel listed to one side, ran aground and slightly took in water,” a spokesperson said.
Four rescue boats were dispatched to the scene to help evacuate passengers off the TurboJet ferry. Some of the injured were ferried to the provisional Pac On ferry terminal, in Taipa, so that paramedics could first assess their condition.
The jetfoil, called “Cacilhas,” was steered by a captain with 34 years’ experience, and was traveling at 65 kilometers per hour in fine weather when the incident occurred. The “Cacilhas” had received its last inspection in July last year.
The jetfoil departed from Hong Kong at 8:30 on Friday morning and crashed off Macau’s Outer Harbor at around 9:30 a.m.
This is the third ferry incident in eight months on the busy route between Hong Kong and Macau. In May, over 30 people were injured after a high-speed ferry from the same company collided with a cargo ship near Hong Kong.
TurboJET company seized the opportunity of a high tide and arranged for its jetfoil to be lifted from the breakwater, a day after the accident took place.
At around 8 a.m. last Saturday, a crane vessel sent by the ferry operator and several vessels from The Marine and Water Bureau and Macau Customs arrived at the scene.
Staff members secured the jetfoil with multiple wires and lifted it from the breakwater at around 9.40 a.m.
The boat was then put on a crane vessel and carried back to Hong Kong. (macaunews/macaudailytimes)