Man who killed woman with boat convicted of endangering lives at sea

A 56-year-old man was convicted in the District Court today of instructing child witnesses to lie about a sailing accident three years ago where a woman was struck by the propellor of the boat he was sailing, causing her death.

Frederic Dong Bo, the former executive director of a mainland company, was on trial today in front of District Judge Eddie Yip Chor-man.

According to the court, the defendant Dong and the deceased female, along with Dong’s wife, children, and children’s schoolmates - a group of 16 people - were on a boat that Dong claimed to own, sailing in the sea at Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung when the accident occurred on October 19, 2019.

The court learned that at about 4pm that day, the 52-year-old deceased went into the water to swim with seven other passengers.

However, the court was told that the boat was suddenly struck by waves and was pushed toward the beach. The defendant, on board, subsequently started the engine to move the vessel, at which point the propeller on the boat’s left side struck the deceased, who was still in the water.

Hung, the deceased, bled heavily on the spot and was rescued by a helicopter after the other passengers called the police. She was airlifted to a hospital where she was certified dead later that day.

The witnesses - five of Dong’s children’s classmates - told the police at the scene that there were only 11 people on board during the accident, which was less than the maximum carrying capacity of the vessel.

However, the police figured out that the children were instructed by Dong to conceal the fact that the boat he was sailing was overloaded.

Judge Yip criticized the defendant for perverting the course of justice in the court, slamming him for not only misleading the police but soliciting the children to lie.

However, the judge also agreed that the defendant did not intentionally commit the offense by starting the engine in an emergency on the vessel.

Dong was charged with endangering the safety of others at sea and is awaiting sentencing on November 25.