Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Rime of the Missing Mariner

The Hong Kong government has acted quickly to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into the Lamma ferry disaster which killed 39 people.  Its mandate is to look into the causes of the accident, review maritime safety conditions, and recommend measures to be taken to avoid similar tragedies in future.  The Commission has been given six months to complete its work.

With all due respect to the two-man panel appointed - a respected senior judge and a former Director of Audit, who will certainly perform their duties conscientiously - there seems to be a glaring omission here.  In view of the fact that much of the evidence examined will inevitably be technical in nature, wouldn't it be desirable for the panel to include at least one member with expertise in maritime affairs?  Or is this just another of the many occasions on which something that seems obvious to me does not to anyone else?

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