Hongkong Post issues a set of six special stamps on “Government Vessels” to deepen the public’s understanding of government vessels and their service, in view of their significant contribution to helping the government uphold law and order and safeguard public safety
Hong Kong is a thriving port, renowned as one of the busiest in the world. To maintain the efficient operation of the port and provision of other marine services, various government departments maintain their own specialised vessels which are designed to perform a diverse range of duties, including patrolling, inspection and quarantine, water quality control, firefighting and hydrographic works, among others.
Customs and Excise Department — Sector Patrol Launch
The $1.70 stamp depicts the sector patrol launch “Sea Reliance” of the Customs and Excise Department. Commissioned in 2000, it has been conducting anti-smuggling patrols in Hong Kong waters. With the aid of “Sea Reliance”, Customs officers cracked the largest case of agilawood smuggling by sea in 2014.
Department of Health — Port Quarantine Launch
The $2.20 stamp shows a port quarantine launch, “Port Health”, from the Department of Health. It commenced service in 2003 and mainly takes personnel including doctors, nurses and health inspectors, to vessels within Hong Kong waters to perform port health services. “Port Health” took Port Health Officers to board a cross-boundary vessel in order to examine and assess the condition of a crew member suspected of contracting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
Environmental Protection Department — Marine Monitoring Vessel
The $2.90 stamp portrays the marine monitoring vessel “Dr. Catherine Lam” of the Environmental Protection Department. First put into service in 1993, its main function is to collect seawater and sediment samples for scientific analyses, so as to monitor Hong Kong’s marine water quality. It is named after Dr. Catherine Lam in memory of the important role she played in the planning of the marine monitoring programme of the Environmental Protection Department, as well as her significant contribution to phytoplankton and red tide research in Hong Kong.
Fire Services Department — Fireboat
The $3.10 stamp shows the fireboat “Elite” of the Fire Services Department. Fireboat “Elite” is mainly responsible for marine firefighting, search and rescue operations and diving logistics support in the Hong Kong waters. It was engaged in fighting a No. 3 Alarm ship fire at Yau Ma Tei Anchorage in 2010, as well as searching and rescuing operation of the sinking incident of a river-trade sand barge at sea north of Tung Lung Chau and a bulk cargo vessel at sea west of Beaufort Island in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
Hong Kong Police Force — Training Launch
The $3.70 stamp features the training launch “Sea Panther” belonging to the Hong Kong Police Force. Commissioned in 1988, it was first deployed as the Divisional Command Launch in Marine East Division, responsible for law enforcement at sea in the region. It later became the Marine Region Training Launch, a training platform for Marine Police officers, in 2001. “Sea Panther” assisted in rescuing the capsized Taiwanese cargo vessel in 1990.
Marine Department — Hydrographic Survey Launch
The $5 stamp presents the hydrographic survey launch “Hydro 1” operated by the Marine Department. In service since 2003, it is mainly deployed to carry out hydrographic surveys in Hong Kong waters, monitor changes in the water depths of major waterways and provide mariners with the most up-to-date nautical information necessary for safe navigation. “Hydro 1” assisted in locating a container that had fallen overboard from a cargo ship during a typhoon in 2012.
Hongkong Post introduces for the first time, a vessel-shaped stamp sheetlet to highlight the theme of this set of stamps. With a light blue backdrop, the stamp sheetlet features six government vessels assembled in a line and ready to perform their duties.
Title: Government Vessels
Date of Issue: 21 May 2015
Country: Hong Kong
Denominations: $1.70, $2.20, $2.90, $3.10, $3.70, $5