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Death of Hong Kong ferry captain suggests severity of labor shortage

Understaffed businesses fail to keep up with blitz of mainland China tourists

The Star Ferry has been carrying locals and tourists across Victoria Harbour for more than 120 years.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- The sudden death of a captain on Hong Kong's historic Star Ferry has stunned the Chinese territory and highlighted the severity of its labor crunch as tourism rebounds following the end of pandemic travel restrictions.

Early in the morning of May 3, a captain in his 40s who had been working the night shift was found collapsed on board a ferry, and later was pronounced dead at a hospital. His wife told local media he had worked for 23 straight days.

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