A veteran Hong Kong barrister drowned during a hiking tour in Tai Po on Sunday. Albert Poon Ying-yin, 53, was said to have taken a boat ride on Sunday morning with 15 friends from Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung to Wong Chuk Kok Tsui, or Bluff Head, in the north-eastern Unesco Global Geopark, home to some of the city’s most ancient rock formations. From Wong Chuk Kok Tsui, they started a trip along the coast to Hung Shek Mun, or literally “Red Rock Gate”, an area known for its reddish coastline due to its iron-rich rocks. Both sites are within Plover Cove Country Park. They reached Hung Shek Mun at about 2pm and Poon was said to have gone for a swim with a friend but got into trouble in the water as he returned. The barrister was later pulled unconscious from the water by a friend who was swimming with him. He was airlifted by a Government Flying Service helicopter to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan and was confirmed dead. Police found nothing suspicious after an initial investigation. Poon, a member of Sir Oswald Cheung’s Chambers, obtained a postgraduate certificate in laws from the University of Hong Kong in 1989 after a bachelor of laws from the same university in 1988. In 1990, he was called to the bar in Hong Kong. He was regarded as having substantial experience as an advocate, in civil and criminal litigation, construction summonses, labour and safety issue, regulations and road traffic cases. Poon served as a former adjudicator in the Obscene Articles Tribunal. Hiker dies after fall from ‘suicide cliff’ in Hong Kong country park He had been the honorary secretary for the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers since 2013. Poon was representing one of the alleged blackmailers in connection with a case in which a group of people tried to extort HK$400 million from tycoon Walter Kwok Ping-sheung’s family in 2009. In another court case last year, Poon represented one of the garage workers charged with manslaughter in the dramatic explosion that killed three people in 2015 in Wong Tai Sin. Legislator Paul Tse Wai-chun said he last met Poon at an alumni event for Wah Yan College Kowloon some two months ago. “Poon was a cheerful man, he was outgoing and always wore a smile. It is very unfortunate,” Tse said.