4 Chinese tourists drown in no swimming zone off holiday island

Three people rescued from treacherous waters as search continues for eighth member of group

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 July, 2017, 6:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 6:05pm

Four people drowned on Saturday after going swimming in a prohibited area off Hailing Island in southern China, local media reported.

Three others were rescued from the sea, while a fourth person is still missing, Nanfang Daily reported on Monday.

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Hailing is a subtropical island about 20 kilometres off Yangjiang in Guangdong province. Its coastline stretches more than 140 kilometres, but due to hidden rocks and powerful undercurrents most of the surrounding sea area is unsuitable for swimming.

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Eight people went into the water in a no swimming zone on Saturday afternoon, but soon found themselves in trouble, the report quoted the Hailing district emergency response office as saying.

The group encountered strong winds and was swept away by the high tide, it said.

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A rescue mission involving several boats and a helicopter was launched and succeeded in saving three people. Four bodies were also recovered and, as of Monday, the search was ongoing for the last member of the group, the report said.

The three survivors were being treated in hospital, it said.

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The report did not release the identities of the eight people, but described them as tourists from China’s mainland.

According to the local government, more than 100 signs have been erected around Hailing Island warning people of the dangers of swimming in the area.