Medic in coma after hiking fall

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 August, 2006, 12:00am

A senior officer with the Auxiliary Medical Service was fighting for her life last night after a hiking accident during a leadership training exercise in Sai Kung.

The 52-year-old victim, identified only by her surname Chow, and five colleagues were observers for five trainee leaders on the trip. Four experienced hiking trainers were also present.

Service senior officer Lee Kar-keung, one of the group, said they were about an hour into the trip from Hoi Ha to Tsam Chuk Wan when they stopped for a break on a path near a stream.

'The group was just restarting when Miss Chow slipped on some small rocks, lost her balance, lunged forward and unfortunately banged her head against a rock. She immediately slipped into a coma,' Mr Lee said.

Emergency services were alerted and a helicopter airlifted the woman to Eastern Hospital, where she was in critical condition last night. The rest of the group was led to safety by rescuers. The service said the victim had extensive experience of running training activities.

The service's deputy commissioner, Chan Yiu-wing, said it was not the first time they had trained on the route, which was not considered a difficult path. 'I can't see that anyone has committed an error [over this incident] and we have put in place all the necessary safety measures.'