Holiday trip ends in tragedy as woman drowns at Hong Kong beach

Three others rescued after rubber boat overturns, while police in Cheung Sha Wan launch manhunt for knife-wielding robbers on hiking trail

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 December, 2016, 9:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 3:22pm

A trip to Shek O beach to enjoy the long Christmas break ended in tragedy on Tuesday when a woman was swept off a rubber boat and drowned.

She was with three other women, all in their 20s, who had rented the 2.5-metre rubber vessel to relax at the popular beach.

Police received a call for assistance at about 2.30pm after the boat overturned and pitched the women into the waters. Various media outlets reported that the boat was overturned by huge waves.

Canadian rescuers make voice contact with ex-Hongkonger missing on hike in Vancouver

Officers from the Fire Services Department managed to pull the woman out of the water but she was already unconscious and she was pronounced dead in hospital.

A Government Flying Service helicopter sent to the scene rescued the other three women, who suffered leg injuries.

Meanwhile, police launched a manhunt on Tuesday afternoon for two knife-wielding Putonghua speakers who robbed hikers on a walking trail near Cheung Sha Wan twice within the space of 25 minutes.

A 66-year-old woman ran into a man at 12.15pm while hiking alone on the Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail.

The man, about 30 to 40 years old wearing a dark jacket and long trousers, threatened her with a 20cm knife and robbed her of a cellphone worth HK$1,500, a HK$600 watch and money.

“[The robber] had his left hand on my neck and pointed a knife at me with his right hand. He took my bag, HK$90 in cash and my phone,” the shocked hiker told Apple Daily.

She sustained injuries to her fingers but refused to be taken to hospital, police said.

Just 25 minutes later a woman, 45, and her three children aged seven to 19 were robbed of two phones, HK$1,300 in cash, and a gold necklace worth about HK$2,000 by a man described as being about 40 and holding a 15cm knife. He was wearing a white shirt, dark-coloured long trousers and a cap.

A swarm of officers were seen scouring the popular trail for the two men. Some hikers said they usually avoided the trail if they were alone and tried not to carry too much cash.

The trail, which begins and ends in Tai Po Road, is located inside Lion Rock Country Park. It is popular with hikers because it offers fine views of Kowloon Reservoir, which was completed in 1910 and was the first water storage facility in Kowloon.