What could be safer than traveling on a hydrofoil? It’s like skating over the ocean in a hurry. For years people have been traveling from Hong Kong to the Macau gambling mecca on high speed crafts. In October 2012 two collided in the fog and there was loss of life. Yesterday the Madeira (assumedly named after the Portuguese archipelago) had a mishap near an outlying island shortly after leaving Hong Kong.
It is still not known (and may never be known) whether it hit an unknown object, or simply sucked debris into an engine and nose dived. There were about 105 passengers and 10 crew on board, and according to the company it was traveling less than 40 knots. At least 87 were injured seriously enough to be hospitalized.
The ferry was towed back to port and the injured off-loaded to ambulances. The Hospital Authority states that 2 passengers are in serious condition, 27 remain hospitalized in stable condition, and 58 have been discharged.
Now, I’m a worry-wart, at least my Mom used to say that. And as a gambler, no matter how well informed, I’m still superstitious to some degree. The CEO of the World Casino Directory was on his way to parts unknown in Asia and as far as I could reckon, could have been on that boat. Were I not superstitious I would probably have been checking his progress to Asia on flightaware.com. Believe it or not you can do that – watch the dot fly over the ocean. Had I been watching the dot I would have seen that 2 1/2 hours into the flight it turned around and headed back to the states, and more or less 5 more hours later I would have seen the dot where it was supposed to be several hours earlier and I would have known he was not on the ferry.
I know that sounds kind of creepy, stalking airplanes, but I’m too superstitious to do it unless it’s my wife heading home or the like and I simply can’t help myself! I’m sure there is a betting line out there somewhere though where you can bet on departure and landing times – take all the historic info, factor in the reliability, weather, etc. and handicap it just like a horse race. People bet on anything and everything, you know?
TurboJET (owners of the Madeira ferry) has been getting people around on the water at around 50 knots since 1999 and are the world’s largest operator of Boeing’s Jetfoils. Their safety record is remarkable. They provide the backbone for intercity travel in the area. Ferries run to Macau 24 hours a day (the trip takes about an hour) with ships leaving almost hourly in the lull times and every 15 minutes during peak hours. These fast boats are the only practical way to travel to Macau and are an excellent value.
Readers of our blog will be glad to know that we will soon have even more first-hand Asian casino reviews and cool pictures from Bernie and Crystal going into the World Casino Directory as we expand our indepth coverage of every casino on planet Earth – and if Sir Richard Branson ever gets back into the casino business, we might have to create a new section for outer space casinos!
Our thoughts go out to those injured in this unfortunate ferry accident, and we wish them and their families Godspeed, great fortune, and a quick recovery!