Chief Executive Carrie Lam and senior officials today expressed shock and sadness over the passing of three customs officers while carrying out their duties in waters off Sha Chau.


Currently on a duty visit in Davos, Switzerland, Mrs Lam extended her deepest condolences to the officers’ families.


“The Hong Kong Customs is entrusted with the important tasks of law enforcement and customs control, including dangerous duties such as combating smuggling and drug trafficking.


“Customs officers have always been fearless and dedicated to serving the public with professionalism. I am profoundly grieved by the unfortunate loss of three Customs colleagues who were on duty last night.”


The Civil Service Bureau and the Customs & Excise Department will make every effort to support the families, Mrs Lam added.


Deeply saddened by the officers’ death, Secretary for Security John Lee said the Government and the department will render their family members full support and assistance to help them tide over this difficult time.      


Commissioner of Customs & Excise Hermes Tang said five officers fell into the sea from a customs vessel at around 9pm yesterday in waters off Sha Chau.


They were rescued by fire services and marine police officers and sent to North Lantau and Tuen Mun hospitals, but three were later certified dead.


Mr Tang said the cause of the incident is under investigation, adding that the department has been in touch with the deceased officers’ families and would make every effort to help them.


On behalf of the civil service, Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law offered his deepest condolences to the families concerned, adding that the bureau will offer them all the assistance they may require.


The Chief Executive and senior officials also sent their regards to the two officers injured in the incident and wished them a speedy recovery.