Man in sea for 3 hours after fight with thieves

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am

A businessman spent more than three hours in rough sea clinging to a plastic pipe before he was rescued, after falling in the water during a scuffle with thieves in Western yesterday.

The 42-year-old man, who runs a dried seafood shop, had parked his car by the waterfront near the Western Wholesale Food Market in Fung Mat Road at about 3.30am.

As he got out of his car, he was set upon by two men - one of them armed with a paper cutter, a police spokeswoman said. 'The victim told police that he was threatened with a cutter and that his bag - containing HK$5,300, his identity card and bank cards - was stolen,' she said. 'During the robbery, he scuffled with his attackers, slipped and fell in the sea.'

The cutter was abandoned at the scene and the two thieves escaped with the man's bag. The victim grabbed a plastic pipe that was floating past to help him stay afloat in the water, a police officer said.

'The man told us that he had tried to swim ashore, but was unable to because the sea was too rough,' the officer said. 'He said he shouted for help and drifted in the sea for more than three hours before he was spotted by a pedestrian at daybreak.'

He was seen floating in the sea at about 6.45am outside the Western District public cargo working area, which is adjacent to the wholesale food market. The pedestrian who spotted him leapt into the water and helped the man to shore before police and fire officers arrived.

'The victim was conscious but exhausted,' the officer said. He was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital in stable condition. Police are searching for the two attackers, but no arrests have been made.