香港可算是一塊福地，相比許多城市，沒有太多自然災害，但「保障市民生 命財產」乃警務人員的使命，因此警隊從沒一刻鬆懈，人員不時接受專業訓練，在遇上重大或災難事故時亦會即時啟動相關機制，協調各方，提供第一時間的拯救和 支援行動。
應變機制下由投訴警察課人員組成之「傷亡查詢組」，當晚立即開始運作，設立公眾查詢熱線讓市民查詢撞船意外死傷者的資料，在數小時內已接獲三百多個電話。 警長陳勇還記得當晚有很多查詢的市民均顯得十分焦急，擔憂家人或朋友的安全，對人員的提問表現反感甚至惡言相向。但人員必須記下懷疑遇難人士的資料，例如 姓名、年齡及聯絡電話等，以及需要向查詢人仕索取其個人資料，讓其他成員能更有效及快捷作出配對，盡快確認受傷或遇害人士的身分。「傷亡查詢組」的人員明 白查詢人的心情，發揮一貫專業精神，耐心聆聽他們的問題並向他們解釋需要提問的原因。
應變機制下另一隊近期完成刑事偵緝訓練及屍體處理專業訓練，為數約二百五十人的「災難遇害者辨認小組」，亦於事發翌日凌晨即開始運作，協助死者家屬辨認遺 體。他們根據國際刑警指引及標準，巨細無遺地記錄屍體的所有特徵，如傷痕、胎記、紋身，以及死者的衣著、隨身物品等，並逐一拍照，以配合日後死因調查所 需。
人員面對海難，雖然都專注處理份內的工作，但其實心情並不好過。陳仲欣說當時所有辨認小組成員都心情沉重、沉默不語，尤其看到小朋友的屍體時，但他們都能 保持情緒穩定，盡快把工作做好。鄺紹邦說他入職二十五年，從未同時面對三十多具遺體，當時很多家屬情緒失控痛哭，場面令人心酸，同事仍忍住眼淚專業地處理 認屍程序。水警警員黎震東說，多名傷者在急救後仍返魂無術，他感到十分難過。
Compared with other cities, Hong Kong has been spared of many major natural disasters or other calamities, but officers of the Force never flinch from their mission of protecting life and property. The officers have been professionally trained for the mission, and when disasters strike the Force will activate the response mechanism, coordinate with other parties and mount rescue and support operations immediately.
Responding to the Lamma Island vessel collision that took the lives of 39 people and injured nearly 100 survivors, the Force’s professionalism and teamwork came into play. Officers were deployed immediately to save lives in coordination with other government departments and to take follow-up actions.
Police Launch 43 from Marine South Division was the first party arriving at the scene of the collision after receiving a report. Finding the “Lamma 4″ sub-merged and life jackets floating in the sea, officers sensed that it was no small collision. They immediately picked up five persons and tried to revive those rendered unconscious. From several survivors, the police learned that many people were being trapped inside the cabin. Sergeant (SGT) Yeung Chun then immediately asked for reinforcement and helicopters to send the survivors to hospital.
According to Operations Wing Chief Inspector Wong Siu-keung who was on duty at the Headquarters Command and Control Centre, it was recognised at the centre that a serious incident had happened and the major incidents response protocol was immediately activated. Some officers on duty for the National Day Fireworks Display were tasked with the job of dealing with the incident. They coordinated with Land Regions, Police Tactical Unit and related units and made arrangements for officers to head for the Marine South Division Base. They also liaised with five hospitals for assisting in rescue, recording casualties and managing crowds.
A Casualties Enquiry Unit, manned by officers of the Complaints Against Police Office, came into operation on the night of the accident, receiving over 300 hotline enquiries from the public in a matter of several hours.
According to SGT Chan Yung, many enquirers, who were worried about the safety of their family members or friends, appeared hostile and were impatient with officers’ questions. But the officers had to record details, such as name, age and contact numbers, etc., for their colleagues to identify victims or survivors. The officers appreciated the moods of the enquirers, listened with patience and went to great lengths to explain why they had to ask questions.
Early the next morning, the 250-member Disaster Victims Identification Unit (DVIU), formed under the protocol, was mobilised to help victims’ families identify bodies. Complying with the guidelines and standards set by the INTERPOL, the officers recorded meticulously all body features, including injuries, birth marks, tattoos, clothing and personal articles, and took photos of each item.
Inspector (IP) Chan Chung-yan said: “Colleagues handled the bodies very carefully, hoping they could take better pictures to help families make positive identification as fast as possible and assist with the subsequent investigation, she noted.
DVIU members also assisted with the procedures of post-mortem and body identification at Kwai Chung Public Mortuary. They provided body features and photos for families to make identification and tried their best to reduce the families’ stress and trauma. For SGT Kong Siu-pong, each identification was “stressful and sorrowful", after which officers comforted the families before telling them the remaining procedures to take.
Officers found it heart-rending in face of the sea tragedy, but realised they had to get the job done. IP Chan pointed out that despite their mixed emotions, officers’ professionalism came into play, helping them keep their composure and get the job done.
“In my 25 years of service, I’ve never come across over 30 bodies. Many families were heart broken; what officers could do was to hold back their tears while handling the body identification procedures," said SGT Kong.
Police constable Lai Chun-tung from Police Launch 43 said he was sad to see some people do not survive their ordeal despite first aid applied by officers.
Within the two weeks following the tragedy, the Psychological Services Group (PSG) offered psychological support and talk on psychological relief to a total of 150 officers, including 60 from Marine South Division, and followed up cases with six individual units. PSG also offered talk on psychological adaptation to over 200 DVIU members.
Police Clinical Psychologist (PCP) Alison Mak pointed out that officers felt sorry for the victims and survivors’ families, particularly when they came across the bodies of children. After their operations, some officers were still haunted by what they saw and came across during their operations and they might take some time to recover from their psychological impact.
Talks on psychological relief took place in groups, with PCPs helping officers ease their emotions and beef up ability to cope with stress. PSG also encouraged them to support each other and summarised what they had gained and learned from their roles in operations.
PSG also followed up cases with phone calls to ensure the officers would make a quick recovery. Right now, this effort has paid off and many officers have resumed normal duties.