Spotlight on VTS after Hong Kong ferry disaster

Hong Kong: The vessel traffic system (VTS) of Hong Kong port is likely to come under intense scrutiny following the fatal collision yesterday of two ferries in the busy Lamma Channel which has resulted in 36 fatalities so far.

One of the ferries was carrying more than 120 people to a fireworks display on the first night of two days of bank holidays when it half-sank following Monday night's collision near Lamma Island.

Twenty-eight people were pronounced dead at the scene. About 100 others were taken to hospital, eight of which were later said to have died.

Combining radar, AIS transponder information and other sensors to create live traffic images Hong Kong’s vessel traffic system, run by the local Marine Department, is among the most advanced in the world. How two ships were allowed to collide in spite of this technology will form an important part of the investigation, which is already underway.  [02/10/12]

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