Body found in Tai O believed to be missing marine officer lost at sea

Hong Kong police believe they have located the body of a female marine officer who was reported missing after she fell off a vessel while chasing a smuggling speedboat in Sha Chau.

At around 8am on Monday, police were called to Yi O on Lantau Island after citizens report finding a body near the shoreline.

The force believed the body found belongs to the missing marine officer – senior inspector Lam Yuen-yee, commander of the police Small Boat Unit.

The body was brought to the Marine Police Tai Lam Chung Base Pier at around 9am for further inspection.

Lam, 37, and three other officers were thrown into the water after their marine interceptor capsized on Saturday while patrolling Sha Chau island in the northwest waters of Hong Kong.

The three male officers – a sergeant, a foreign senior inspector and a constable – were rescued and conscious when sent to Tuen Mun Hospital. However, Lam had gone missing, suspected to have been dragged away by currents.

Marine police, fire services divers and drones were searching for Lam in Sha Chau, Lung Kwu Tan and Lung Kwu Chau. Two Government Flying Service helicopters also flew over Sha Chau and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to search for Lam.

Fourteen maritime vessels from the mainland joined the rescue operation in mainland waters.

Lam, nicknamed “Kryptonite of smuggling,” has busted smuggling cases over the years, including one involving HK$37 million worth of animals and goods in August last year.

Born into a grassroots family, Lam, who is married, started as a constable before being transferred to Tuen Mun’s crime squad, sources said.

Described as hardworking, Lam rose quickly through the ranks to become an inspector in three years. In 2015, she became a senior inspector and was transferred to the Marine Police. Last year, Lam joined the Small Boat Unit. She is also a member of the police football team.

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