Man drowns trying to rescue friend at popular cliff-jump site

Top News | Sophie Hui 8 May 2018

A Nepali man died trying to rescue a woman friend while cliff jumping at the scenic Four Pools in Sai Kung.

The man, 25, had been camping with eight friends. Yesterday morning, three men and two women in the group visited Four Pools, also known as Quadruplex Pool at Sheung Luk stream.

But at 11.45am the group called the police, saying two members, a man and a woman, were missing after they jumped into the pool.

Police and firefighters, with divers, began searching for the pair.

They rescued the 26-year-old Nepalese woman at about 1pm.

The man was pulled out of the pool after the rescue team found him under water at 2.30pm.

He was unconscious when divers found him, and was certified dead. His body was airlifted to West Dam at High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung.

The woman was later transferred to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan for treatment.

A police spokeswoman said the woman has no external injuries, and was conscious when sent to hospital. However, she was emotionally unstable.

It is understood that the woman said she and the man lived in Hong Kong and they knew how to swim. The two were playing in the pool but she couldn't remember the details clearly.

A stream is behind Tai Long Sai Wan, in Sai Kung East Country Park. The pool is particularly popular in summer. People can walk to the Four Pools from the beach in 10 to 20 minutes.

The area has deep pools set in rocky terrain, and attracts many people for swimming and cliff diving. The upper pool with a 12-meter-high vertical cliff on one side is the largest and deepest of the four.

The Quadruplex Pool is listed as a high-risk location by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, with a long record of fatal and serious accidents over the years. There are warning signs there.

In July 2011, a 17-year-old boy cliff jumped but hit a rock in the pool. He lost consciousness and drowned.

Mountaineering expert Chung Kin-man said the spot has been introduced through the internet, saying it is a beautiful place to visit.

"However, no one knows how deep the natural pool is, and how many rocks are in the pool," he said.

"People jump into the pool after seeing others jump, but they have to judge whether it is safe by themselves. No one knows how deep it is, and whether you hit your head or your waist."

Chung reminded people to think carefully before jumping into the pool, and to pay attention to their physical strength and capabilities, as well as the environment.

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