Whose fault it is? - Marine Department Ferry Inspector Ignored Missing Watertight Door

By Accidents

A senior Marine Department vessel inspector stated on Tuesday it wasn't his obligation to inspect the missing watertight door of the ill-fated Lamma IV despite passing personally through the opening.
Philip Yu Kick-cheun who is a senior vessel inspector, managed inspections on Lamma IV in 1996, the year after it was constructed, told the Marine Department was only required to supervise some particular vessel parts upon request from shipyards.
"After revising through the files, I thought the supervision of the hull structure was done," he said to the commission of inspection into the National Day sea tragedy.
In an inspection, Yu Kick-cheun had passed through an access opening in the aft septum that was marked as being fitted with a watertight door on drawings, but he didn't bring the disparity to the attention of anyone as it wasn't the subject of his inspection.
He didn't agree with the colleagues of his that testified before that the watertight door could have been fitted after the vessel was constructed. He added it should have been fitted during the vessel's constricting.
Yu also also claimed that in his last inspection in February 1996 he checked to assure if the seats were reliably fixed to the vessel's deck. He inspected the seat armatures and applied force to different seats at random to test their resistance.
But he told that inspectors weren't required to determine how the seats were put-up as it wasn't possible to look at from the deck surface which materials had been used or inserted underneath.
Survivors of the accident have said to the commission that many of the "allegedly fixed" seats tore free on impact, trapping the people.
The inquiry keeps going on.