Man, 48, drowns at Shek O beach trying to help 3 other swimmers
A 48-year-old man drowned yesterday at Shek O beach after he tried to help swimmers seemingly having trouble. Witnesses said the man was on a floating platform at about 5.30pm when three teenage girls cried for help while they were approaching the platform because their inflatable device was leaking air.
The man jumped into the water and tried to escort them back to shore, but got tired and drowned. Other swimmers pulled him to shore.
The man, named Keung, was certified dead at Eastern Hospital at 6.15pm. The teenagers were unhurt.
No lifeguards were on the beach because the service is suspended from November 1 to March 31.
Shek O resident Kate Hodgson said that although she was not very close to the scene, she saw people drag swimmers from the water. She said the weather seemed fine at the time and there were a lot of people playing and swimming in the sea. 'The weather was fine,' she said. 'It didn't seem particularly bad. It is quite shocking that it happened.'
Beaches in Shek O area are popular and surfers and swimmers have ignored warnings amid typhoons or bad weather to stay in the water.
In August, a young swimmer drowned after he was swept into the water by a wave with two other swimmers at Big Wave Bay in Shek O. The other two swimmers survived by holding on to a shark net.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said last night it had informed the public on October 31 of its winter lifeguard arrangements. Under those arrangements, three lifeguards worked inside a first-aid station at Shek O yesterday, the department said. Two went into the water after being told of the drowning.