Accidents and personal safety in Hong Kong

Diver missing in waters off Hong Kong’s Shek Kwu Chau found dead as boat captain bailed

Man, 53, had been working 20 metres off island when propeller severed rope connecting him to boat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 October, 2018, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 11:48pm

A diver who had been missing since Monday when he was working in waters in southwest Hong Kong was found dead.

Volunteer divers on Wednesday found the body of the 53-year-old man, surnamed Choi, near She Kwu Chau during an air and sea search-and-rescue operation that began on Monday morning, when he had been carrying out salvage work 20 metres off the island. A propeller severed a rope connecting him to a boat, and an arm was later found in the water.

A postmortem will be conducted.

Police arrested the captain – a 58-year-old man – on suspicion of endangering the safety of others at sea. He was later released on bail and must report back to police next month.

Choi had been tied to a rope, which was held by a colleague on the boat.

“Initial investigation showed the boat drifted for a distance and it was believed the propeller severed the rope when the engine started,” a police source said.

Choi’s colleague called police at 10.13am when the diver failed to surface, he added.

Rescue divers later found a right forearm in waters nearby but it was not confirmed whether it was related to the incident.

The spokeswoman said Choi was in the water to salvage a buoy which sank when Typhoon Mangkhut hit the city last month.

Eight crew saved after abandoning sinking barge at height of storm

Officers from the marine police and Fire Services Department were deployed in the search along with a government helicopter.

A fire services spokeswoman said three fire engines and an ambulance were dispatched along with two fireboats and two vessels carrying divers.

Separately, a 38-year-old angler died after he fell into Victoria Harbour on Monday afternoon.

According to police, the man accidentally fell into the water while fishing at the Wai Lok Street waterfront in Kwun Tong at 2.15pm.

Police said he was unconscious when firefighters pulled him from the water.

The man was taken to United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong where he was certified dead at 2.59pm. Police were investigating the incident.