November 13 saw the first reported maritime intervention in the violent civil disorder which has been afflicting Hong Kong for the past six months.
A group of mainland students, allegedly under threat from some black-shirted Hong Kong students, some reportedly armed with bows and arrows and firebombs, fled from the Hong Kong Chinese University, which is located in a semi-rural area.
Blocked by the students from making their escape by land, they ran to a nearby ferry pier. In response to a distress call from the beleaguered students, the Hong Kong marine police deployed the patrol vessel Police 61 to the scene in order to evacuate the group to a safe location in the urban area.
Police 61 is a 30-metre, 25-knot coastal patrol vessel, six of which are in commission with the Hong Kong marine police. Based on the Keka class of the Royal Thai Navy, they were constructed by Hong Kong-based Cheoy Lee Shipyard.
Maritime security expert and columnist, Trevor Hollingsbee was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Senior Superintendent with the Hong Kong Marine Police, Assistant Secretary for Security in the British Hong Kong Government Security Branch, and Intelligence Analyst in the UK Ministry of Defence. As an independent defence and security analyst he has had some 1,500 articles on maritime security, and geopolitical topics, published in a range of international journals and newspapers. He is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a past Vice-Chairman of the Institute’s Hong Kong branch.