Yet another crab hunter drowns in muddy Tai Po sea

Local | Charlotte Luo 12 Sep 2019

A 42-year-old man was the third person to drown in Sam Mun Tsai this year after he went crab hunting and snorkeling on Tuesday night.

Police received a report at 10.25pm on Tuesday that a man had gone missing at Nai Chung Pebbles Beach.

Firemen found the man's flashlight around 30 meters from the beach.

He was unconscious after being pulled out of the water around 300 meters from shore. He was rushed to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, during which paramedics performed chest compression. Despite their efforts, he was declared dead.

A source said the man began crab hunting with his brother and friends around 9pm.

However, about an hour later, they could no longer see him and called in the police after a search.

Police don't believe any foul play was involved, and the case has been listed as death on arrival.

On May 26, a 27-year-old man was swept into the sea while crab hunting off shore at Sha Lam.

A rescue team searched for 16 hours, but could not find him until his body surfaced.

On April 7, a 40-year-old man drowned while snorkeling in Sam Mun Tsai. His friends pulled him out, but he was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital.

Back in July 2010, a 49-year-old man died after his leg got trapped in mud while snorkeling in Sam Mun Tsai.

He was found unconscious and died in hospital.

Professional diving coach Keith Chan said people often crab hunt by free diving and might start choking and lose consciousness when they hold their breath for too long.

Sam Mun Tsai has become a popular crab hunting spot as some Facebook pages have promoted the area in recent years, he added.

As for why they go at night, Chan said the crabs are easily spotted when they come out to hunt for food in the dark.

Another diving coach, Oliver Ng, said that the seabed in Sam Mun Tsai is muddy and divers may easily get stuck, putting them in danger when they panic and struggle to free themselves.

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