Three bodies found after Hong Kong boat collision

HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong underwater search teams have recovered three bodies a day after two boats collided in fog in the city's busy waterways, with three crew members still missing as police arrested the two captains.

The incident on Thursday night refocused attention on Hong Kong's maritime safety, and came after a ferry crash in October claimed 39 lives in the city's worst sea disaster in 40 years.

Search teams were deployed after a boat with 11 crew from mainland China carrying construction waste collided with another vessel on the southeast of the island and began to sink. Five crew were rescued soon after.

"The fire department's diving rescue personnel found three dead males inside the sunken cargo vessel tonight," the police said in an statement late Friday.

Officers arrested four people from both vessels, aged 30 to 58, including both captains, on suspicion of "endangering the safety of others at sea", the statement said.

The October catastrophe saw a high-speed passenger ferry collide with a pleasure boat carrying around 120 people. The captains of the boats involved were charged with 39 counts of manslaughter last week and face life in prison if convicted.