A British child was one of those killed when two ferries collided in Hong Kong, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The child, who has yet to be named, was on board the Lamma IV pleasure cruiser which collided with the passenger ferry, Sea Smooth, on Monday night, killing 38 people including five children in Hong Kong's worst maritime disaster for 40 years.

hong kong ferry

Hong Kong's busy shipping channels were even more crowded that usual, amidst celebrations for China's national day

The Lamma IV, which was carrying 120 passengers, was heavily damaged and sunk rapidly leaving many of those onboard with little time to put on lifejackets.

The Sea Smooth, carrying around 100 people, was only lightly damaged and managed to limp back to port.

The Foreign Office had earlier confirmed that a British national had died in the incident but had not released any further details.

In a statement a spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that there was one British victim who died in the incident in Hong Kong and we are providing consular assistance to their family."

The Lamma IV was on its way to view a fireworks display in Victoria Harbour to celebrate China's national day when the collision happened.

Seven crew members from the two boats have been arrested on suspicion of endangering passengers by operating the craft unsafely.

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  • Rescue Operation Under Way After Boat Collision Kills 36 Passengers

    HONG KONG - OCTOBER 2: The stricken ferry is pulled out of the water near Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island on October 2, 2012 in Hong Kong. Thirty-six passengers have been killed and several others were injured when a Hong Kong Electric ferry, carrying 124 people, collided with a tug boat off the coast of Hong Kong late on Monday. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (L) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (L) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Search and rescue teams search the waters around the partially submerged Lamma IV boat (C) off Hong Kong's Lamma island on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the partially submerged Lamma IV boat (top) sticks up over the hull of a barge (bottom) being used for rescue operations near Hong Kong's Lamma island on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry killing over 30 people. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (C) joins representatives of various government departments as they observe a minute of silence at the start of a press conference in Hong Kong on October 2, 2012 following a deadly ferry collision that killed at least 37 people the night before. Six crew from two passenger boats that collided killing 37 people in Hong Kong's worst maritime accident in decades have been arrested, the territory's security chief said at the press conference. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The Sea Smooth ferry with its bow badly damaged sits docked at the Lamma Island pier on October 2, 1012 following a collision with the Lamma IV boat in Hong Kong waters late on October 1. The Lamma IV boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with the passenger ferry Sea Smooth and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The Sea Smooth ferry with its bow badly damaged sits docked at the Lamma Island pier on October 2, 1012 following a collision with the Lamma IV boat in Hong Kong waters late on October 1. The Lamma IV boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with the passenger ferry Sea Smooth and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (C) joins representatives of various government departments as they observe a minute of silence at the start of a press conference in Hong Kong on October 2, 2012 following a deadly ferry collision that killed at least 37 people the night before. Six crew from two passenger boats that collided killing 37 people in Hong Kong's worst maritime accident in decades have been arrested, the territory's security chief said at the press conference. AFP PHOTO / ANTONY DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Rescue Operation Under Way After Boat Collision Kills 36 Passengers

    HONG KONG - OCTOBER 2: The stricken ferry is pulled out of the water near Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island on October 2, 2012 in Hong Kong. Thirty-six passengers have been killed and several others were injured when a Hong Kong Electric ferry, carrying 124 people, collided with a tug boat off the coast of Hong Kong late on Monday. (Photo by Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The damaged Sea Smooth ferry is seen docked at Lamma island in Hong Kong on October 3, 2012 two days after it collided with a pleasure boat killing at least 38 people. The captains of the Sea Smooth ferry and the Lamma IV pleasure boat that collided in Hong Kong on October 1, killing 38 people in the city's worst maritime disaster in decades, were arrested on October 2 with five other crew, officials said. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Ferry passengers look trough windows at an another ferry damaged after colliding with a boat, in Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. The ferry on Monday collided with a boat owned by utility company Power Assets Holdings Ltd., which was taking its workers and their families to famed Victoria Harbor to watch a fireworks display in celebration of China's National Day and mid-autumn festival, killing at least 36 people. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • A half submerged boat is lifted by cranes Tuesday Oct. 2, 2012 after Monday night's collision near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Relatives of the victims throw paper money Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 as they pay tribute to the ill-fated people aboard a boat that sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Frogmen from firefighting team retrieve a body, right, Tuesday Oct. 2, 2012 near a boat, unseen, after it collided and sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Police officers on a small boat secure the area around a half submerged boat Tuesday Oct. 2, 2012 after Monday night's collision near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Relatives of the victims throw paper money Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 as they pay tribute to the ill-fated people aboard a boat that sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Relatives of the victims pay tribute Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 to the ill-fated people aboard a boat that sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Relatives of the victims toss paper money Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 as they pay tribute to the ill-fated people aboard a boat that sank Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Police officers guard on a partially submerged boat after it collided with a ferry Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Workers carry a dead body after it was recovered during search and rescue operations after a boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A partially submerged boat is stabilized by the crane of another vessel after it collided with a ferry Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday,Oct. 2, 2012. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Officials check on a half submerged boat after it collided Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday Oct. 2, 2012. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A partially submerged boat is stabilized by the crane of another vessel after it collided with a ferry Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday,Oct. 2, 2012. The boat packed with revelers on a long holiday weekend collided with a ferry and sank off Hong Kong, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, authorities said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A young survivor carried by rescuers, is taken onto shore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a boat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died.The government said in a statement that the ferry was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. Few other details were given. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A survivor carried by rescuers, is taken onto shore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a boat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died.The government said in a statement that the ferry was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. Few other details were given. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A survivor supported by rescuers, is taken onto shore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a boat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. The government said in a statement that the ferry was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. Few other details were given. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Survivors accompanied by rescuers, are taken onto shore after a collision involving two vessels in Hong Kong Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a boat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died.The government said in a statement that the ferry was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. Few other details were given. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • A young survivor is carried by a rescuer, and taken onto shore after a collision involving two vessels, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a boat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. The government said in a statement that the ferry was carrying about 120 people when the accident happened Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island. Few other details were given. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

  • Rescuers check on a half submerged boat after it collided Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a tugboat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Rescuers check on a half submerged boat after it collided Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a tugboat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Rescuers check on a half submerged boat after it collided Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a tugboat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Rescuers check on a half submerged boat after it collided Monday night near Lamma Island, off the southwestern coast of Hong Kong Island Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. Authorities in Hong Kong have rescued 101 people after a ferry collided with a tugboat and sank. A local broadcaster says eight people died. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    A victim (C) is carried ashore by rescue personnel after at least 20 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. Search and rescue operations were under way for around 80 other people who were involved in the accident near Lamma Island, a police spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD A. BROOKS (Photo credit should read RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    A victim (C) is carried ashore by rescue personnel after at least 20 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. Search and rescue operations were under way for around 80 other people who were involved in the accident near Lamma Island, a police spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD A. BROOKS (Photo credit should read RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Local residents (L) try to get a glimpse of rescue personnel (R) as they tend to a victim who was brought ashore after at least 20 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. Search and rescue operations were under way for around 80 other people who were involved in the accident near Lamma Island, a police spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD A. BROOKS (Photo credit should read RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    A victim (C) is carried ashore by rescue personnel after at least 20 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. Search and rescue operations were under way for around 80 other people who were involved in the accident near Lamma Island, a police spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD A. BROOKS (Photo credit should read RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Members of the media surround rescue workers as they carry a victim into an ambulance after at least 20 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. Search and rescue operations were under way for around 80 other people who were involved in the accident near Lamma Island, a police spokesman said. AFP PHOTO / RICHARD A. BROOKS (Photo credit should read RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (2nd L) pays a visit to a hospital after at least 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. More than 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and a tug boat which threw scores of people into the sea off Hong Kong, police said. The government said around 120 people were on board the vessels, of whom 101 had been rescued. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Medical personnel transfer a victim from an ambulance at a hospital after at least 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. More than 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and a tug boat which threw scores of people into the sea off Hong Kong, police said. The government said around 120 people were on board the vessels, of whom 101 had been rescued. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Medical personnel transfer a victim from an ambulance at a hospital after at least 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. More than 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and a tug boat which threw scores of people into the sea off Hong Kong, police said. The government said around 120 people were on board the vessels, of whom 101 had been rescued. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Medical personnel transfer a victim from an ambulance at a hospital after at least 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. More than 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and a tug boat which threw scores of people into the sea off Hong Kong, police said. The government said around 120 people were on board the vessels, of whom 101 had been rescued. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    Medical personnel transfer a victim from an ambulance at a hospital after at least 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and another commercial vessel off Hong Kong on October 1, 2012. More than 30 people were injured in a collision between a ferry and a tug boat which threw scores of people into the sea off Hong Kong, police said. The government said around 120 people were on board the vessels, of whom 101 had been rescued. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat (C) is seen partially submerged during rescue operations on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / LAURENT FIEVET (Photo credit should read LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The bow of the Lamma IV boat is seen partially submerged on October 2, 2012 the morning after it collided with a Hong Kong ferry. The boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with a passenger ferry and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / LAURENT FIEVET (Photo credit should read LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/GettyImages)

  • HONG KONG-ACCIDENT-FERRY

    The damaged bow of the Sea Smooth ferry is seen docked at the Lamma Island pier following a collision with the Lamma IV boat off Hong Kong late on October 1, 2012. The Lamma IV boat, filled with more than 120 people headed to watch a national day fireworks display in Victoria harbour, collided with the passenger ferry Sea Smooth and sank off Hong Kong, leaving 36 people dead and sparking a frantic overnight search and rescue effort, officials said on October 2. AFP PHOTO / LAURENT FIEVET (Photo credit should read LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/GettyImages)