President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping sent their condolences to victims families and asked the Hong Kong government to spare no efforts to rescue the missing people and comfort the victims' families.
They urged the maritime rescue center and other involved departments to fully cooperate with the Hong Kong government in rescue and provide all the help needed, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The central government had asked neighbouring Guangdong Province to send four salvage vessels to help Hong Kong police with rescue work after the accident took place.
A ferry and a pleasure craft collided off Lamma Island to the southwest of Hong Kong Island on Monday.
Thirty-eight people, including five children, were killed in the collision off the southwest of the Hong Kong Island.
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