Earlier this month, the captains of the two boats, Lai Sai-ming, captain of the Sea Smooth, and Chow Chi-wai, captain of the Lamma IV, each were charged with 39 counts of manslaughter for their alleged responsibility in what officials said was the deadliest boat accident in Hong Kong in 40 years.
A boat rented by Hong Kong Electric Co. with more than 100 workers and their families aboard collided with a ferry in waters off Lamma Island Oct. 1, 2012, killing 39 people. Lamma IV passengers either jumped into the sea or were trapped inside the ferry as it sank after the collision. The Sea Smooth resumed its trip to Yung Shue Wan pier after the collision.
An independent commission of inquiry will release the findings of their investigation into the accident once they remove all parts concerning the two captains so they can be given a fair trial, Chief Executive CY Leung said Tuesday.
"After seeking legal advice, the government has decided not to release for the time being those parts of the report concerning the responsibilities of the two coxswains until the final conclusion of the criminal legal proceedings," he said.
The report will include the commission's views on the cause of the accident, the cause of the Lamma IV's rapid sinking and number of casualties, and will recommend ways to prevent similar incidents, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.