Green Island typhoon victims | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Green Island typhoon victims

Green Island typhoon victims

Two small freighters swept onto the rocks by Typhoon Ellen in 1983

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, September 15, 1983


I was a marine police  Assistant Divisional Commander at sea on a patrol vessel in Mirs Bay as the typhoon approached. After patrolling the bay to warn shipping, we secured to typhoon moorings off Tolo Channel. At its height, Typhoon Ellen was frightening, I've seen nothing like it before or since. We rode the moorings with engines full ahead into the wind, and there was a total white out due to spindrift from the surface of the sea. Tolo Channel was at that time used to lay up merchant ships at anchor,  and a number of these vessels were driven ashore, almost on to the KCR railway line. Ellen, in particular the enquiry into the loss of OSPREY,  was the catalyst for the commissioning of Hong Kong's very well -equipped and run Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre, the first such facility in Asia.  The HK MRCC has since helped to save very many lives, both within HK waters, and much further afield. 

Was OSPREY the sail training vessel lost with all young hands south of Hong Kong? I took long distance photographs of a sail training vessel from around that time taken at Repulse Bay and off Stonecutters.

Yes it was. I don't think the precise cause, or position, of the loss was ascertained.  

A photograph of the vessel appears here along with various comments on its fate and its life before reaching Hong Kong


Other pictures of Hong Kong in the late 1970s and early 80s also appear on this photostream

Osprey was also used in 1983 for Jackie Chan's "Project A" - a film set in early HK and featuring the Marine Police chasing pirates. It couldn't have been long after when it was lost.

Osprey from Project A (1983)

The proceedings of the Marine Court of Inquiry on the location and loss of the vessel can be read here