Marine police and divers conducted an overnight search for an 18-year-old Pakistani feared drowned after being swept out to sea by big waves while swimming with friends at a Lantau beach.
Hazad Rangzeb and three friends, all South Asian boys aged between 12 and 15, had gone camping at Nam Shan for two days before going to Lower Cheung Sha Beach about noon yesterday.
The camp was organized by the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui and attended by more than 10 South Asians accompanied by three instructors.
The beach was closed because of the big waves and a lifeguard told the youngsters not to enter the water. But the four insisted they could swim and braved the waves.
At about 12.45pm, the lifeguard saw one of the four boys shouting for help.
One of the instructors, who was also in the water, swam back to call for help.
The lifeguard and his off-duty colleague immediately launched a rescue and saved three of the youngsters.
The two lifeguards, however, could not find Rangzeb.
One of those rescued, a 14-year-old, was sent to North Lantau Hospital for treatment.
He was later transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital and was in a stable condition last night.
Chan Man-fai, Fire Services Department's assistant divisional officer, said the search was hampered by strong winds, big waves and murky water.
But Chan said they would continue the search throughout the night.
Rangzeb's father and relatives were seen praying at the beach.
The department said since a small part of the shark net around the beach was damaged, it is possible the teenager was swept outside the net.
The lifeguard said the boys were about 80 meters from the shore when they called for help.