Climbing instructor strangled by his own rope

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 12:00am

A veteran rock-climber was strangled with his own climbing rope while descending from a popular but risky climb site yesterday.

The 47-year-old man, an instructor, had been climbing with six other people - including his 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter - at the Ng Tung Chai waterfall in the Lam Tsuen Country Park in Tai Po.

Police said a friend found him shortly after 5pm hanging from his rope. Rescue officers were called in to untie the unconscious man.

He was taken by Government Flying Services helicopter to Tuen Mun Hospital where he was declared dead shortly after arrival.

His colleagues were guided to safety with Civil Aid Service assistance. They told reporters the man was a rock-climbing instructor.

Police said the man's companions were helping them with their inquiries last night.

Ken Ng On-yeung, a qualified coach with the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union, said Ng Tung Chai was very popular with rock-climbing enthusiasts.

'There is a waterfall, which is very exciting for people in love with this sport.'

Despite the scenic nature of the site, it was very risky, Mr Ng said, as the torrent from the waterfall could block climbers' eyes.

Mr Ng added that although more and more Hong Kong people participated in rock climbing, most of them did it at artificial indoor climbing sites.

'Few Hong Kong people climb in the natural environment.'

Accidents such as yesterday's fatality were extremely rare, he said.

Mr Ng said climbers followed a strict list of rules.

The safety precautions included always being with a group or being partnered with a veteran rock climber.