Man dies after tragic accident at Hong Kong cliff jumping spot
Rescuers found him unconscious after a three-hour search at Four Pools in Sai Kung East Country Park. He was later declared dead
A Nepali man who went missing at a popular cliff jumping attraction in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung East Country Park died as he was being airlifted to hospital after a three-hour search on Monday.
Firefighters and police said he was among a group of five – three men and two women – who visited the popular Four Pools, also known as Quadruplex Pools, along Sheung Luk Stream in the morning.
The group raised the alarm with police at 11.45am after the man and one of the women went missing.
“A total of nine people were camping in Sai Kung the night before. Five of them went to the Four Pools at 10.30am on Monday,” a police source said, adding that the pair involved in the mishap were “playing with water” while the other three members of the group were resting about 25 metres away.
“The woman suddenly shouted for help as she was drowning. The group jumped into the water to save her, but the man went missing,” the source added.
The Nepali woman was rescued first and sent to hospital for treatment. She was conscious and uninjured. The man was found unconscious at about 2.30pm, and was being evacuated by air when he died.
A spokeswoman for the Fire Services Department said it had deployed 22 firefighters and three ambulance crew members for the operation.
A thunderstorm warning, issued by the Observatory, was in place at 8.10am and lasted four hours.
Four Pools, a series of midstream plunge pools set in rocky terrain, is a well-known nature attraction.
A 12-metre-high vertical cliff looms over the uppermost pool, which is the deepest of the four, making it a hotspot for daredevil cliff jumpers.
The site has been widely featured on travel websites, blogs and YouTube. A video published in 2011 by British music group Rogue Element featured cliff jumping at Four Pools. The clip attracted more than five million views.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has listed it as one of 16 high-risk locations in country parks across Hong Kong.
“These locations are considered dangerous from previous records of serious and fatal accidents. Hikers should avoid going to such areas,” Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing told lawmakers in January.
Monday’s case was not the first fatal accident at the location. In 2011, a 17-year-old man died after he hit a rock during his jump.
Shum Si-ki, founder of activity group Hong Kong Hiking Meetup, said many people seeking the thrill of jumping from the cliffs were willing to risk their lives despite warning signs put up in the area. Shum said he had advised people against jumping into the water as it was unclear how deep the pools were.
“Many people copy what they see in pictures and videos as they are ignorant about safety. You may be successful on your first attempt and feel it is entirely safe. But the pools are influenced by currents from the stream and their depths vary,” he said.
“So if you jump from the same spot again, you may hit a rock in the water as the pool may be shallow.”
In 2017, an exchange student from Singapore went cliff jumping at the same pool with four friends. She was sent to hospital for treatment after slipping and hitting her back on a rock.
In 2015, a 29-year-old man injured his nose when he jumped off a six-metre-high rock at the site.