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Hong Kong weather

Hong Kong boat passenger missing after falling with 12 others into stormy waters

Vessel sailing off Sai Kung capsized after winds surged from 23 to 54km/h

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 October, 2016, 12:05pm

A Hong Kong boat passenger was missing on Tuesday afternoon after being tossed along with 12 others into choppy seas off Sai Kung in the midst of heavy rain.

A rescue operation was under way for the missing passenger after the other 12 were recovered from the water.

Police received a report of a vessel taking on water at 3.31pm on Tuesday as it passed Wang Chau in the eastern waters off the Sai Kung peninsula. The vessel later reportedly capsized.

“Rescue personnel first rescued at least 12 people,” a police spokesman said. “They were taken

to Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital and United Christian Hospital for treatment.”

Members of the marine and fire services as well as the Government Flying Service were deployed for the rescue operation.

A source from the Government Flying Service said a helicopter was sent from its base on Lantau Island to the scene at 4.03pm, but was forced to stop in Wan Chai due to poor weather.

“The helicopter encountered heavy rain when it reached Lei Yue Mun,” the source said. “Visibility was low, so it had to stop in Wan Chai for a while. But the helicopter took off again for Sai Kung.”

The Hong Kong Observatory issued an amber rain warning alongside the No 3 strong wind signal at 3.10pm – just 20 minutes before the incident took place. The warning means heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall generally over the city exceeding 30mm in an hour.

The city’s weather authority said wind speeds in Sai Kung rose from 23km/h to 54km/h between 3pm and 3.15pm.

The Observatory also warned of flooding in some low-lying and poorly drained areas.