Abseiling rescue ends woman's suicide attempt

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2006, 12:00am

A firefighter abseiled down a building in a daring operation to rescue a suicidal woman.

Officer Leung Wai-hung, 33, was part of a six-member special rescue squad who raced to the roof of 15-storey Yiu Ming House, on the Yiu Tung Estate, yesterday after the woman was seen standing on a ledge on the 13th floor just after 7am. She was wearing only a pair of trousers.

The woman was short and slim, and it was only later officers realised they had rescued a woman.

When the team arrived, the woman, 34, was being grabbed by her boyfriend, 29, through a window, according to Shau Kei Wan senior station officer Choi Siu-ping.

Mr Leung and his rescue team went to the roof of the building, while another team entered the flat to calm the couple down while a giant air cushion was inflated on the ground.

As the lightest member of the team, Mr Leung was chosen to mount the rescue.

Because the woman had become very emotional, he decided to abseil from the roof to secure her outside the flat.

Mr Leung said it was the first time he had used his abseiling skills in a rescue situation.

'I wasn't frightened despite windy and rainy conditions. I was happy I could save her life,' he said. 'My two hands were under the victim's arms, one of them grabbing the window grille and the other pressed against the wall.'

He said the woman was then pulled back into the flat with the help of other colleagues. The woman was taken uninjured to Eastern Hospital.