With over 200 unique islands and 700 kilometres of picturesque coastline with shallow waters, Hong Kong offers yachtsmen a great variety, along with the challenge of typhoons. The first typhoon shelter built in Hong Kong, providing a refuge for vessels, was completed in 1883. The latest addition, the Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter, constructed in 1999, stands out as the only facility capable of accommodating vessels exceeding 50 metres in length. Near the eastern coast of Lantau Island, Hei Ling Chau, formerly known as Hay Ling Chau or the “Island of Happy Healing”, boasts a rich history. Serving as a leper colony after World War II, the island was transformed into a resettlement camp for Vietnamese boat people after the leprosarium closed in 1975 and is now home to a drug addiction treatment centre.
The Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter faced a greater exposure to wind than its 13 counterparts in Hong Kong. The Civil Engineering and Development Department engaged SF Marina to manufacture and install a floating breakwater as a pilot project. This breakwater was specifically crafted to mitigate wind-generated waves within the existing two-section fixed rock breakwater. As part of the typhoon shelter’s configuration, three custom-designed floating breakwaters were installed: two 300 metres long and 5 metres wide, the third 80 by 4 metres. These breakwaters are fixed securely using heavy-duty chains and 114 precast concrete anchors. The breakwaters were designed and built at SF Marina’s modern pontoon production facility in Korea, before being shipped to Hong Kong.
The typhoon shelter project was successfully completed in March 2023.