Family of Hong Kong fireman who died in clifftop rescue gets government grant for bravery

Minister lauds Yau Siu-ming’s ‘utmost professionalism, leadership and bravery’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 5:40pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 5:40pm

The family of the Hong Kong fireman who died during a clifftop rescue last month has received HK$4.5 million from the government for his gallantry in the line of duty.

The government minister responsible said the payment was a reflection of Yau Siu-ming’s “exceptional courage and professionalism”.

The 50-year-old principal fireman slipped, hit his head and lost consciousness during an overnight rescue operation that began on March 21 for two hikers lost in Ma On Shan Country Park. He was carried down the hill, but later declared dead at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sha Tin.

He was survived by his wife and a six-year-old son.

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The government on Thursday granted the money to Yau’s family in recognition of his courage and professionalism. Secretary for Labour and Welfare Stephen Sui Wai-keung said in a statement that he hoped the money could provide relief to Yau’s family.

“The late Mr Yau displayed the utmost professionalism, leadership and bravery during the mountain rescue operation. His selfless sacrifice in order to save and protect others commands our greatest respect,” Sui said.

“We deeply mourn the loss of such an excellent and devoted public servant. The grant represents the government’s recognition of the late Mr Yau’s exceptional courage and professionalism of the highest order.”

The government gives such grants under a financial assistance scheme for relatives of those who lose their lives while saving or protecting others.

The amount is worked out according to a formula using the deceased’s age and median monthly earnings. The payment is capped at HK$9 million, with the minimum set at HK$4.5 million.

Top government officials, heads of disciplinary forces and members of the public paid their last respects to the fireman last Friday during a funeral procession with full honours, before Yau was buried in Gallant Garden in Wo Hop Shek, a cemetery for public servants who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Before the funeral, more than 200 cyclists raised more than HK$470,000 for Yau’s son’s education fund by taking part in a charity bike ride.