Date
16 August 2017
Tang (inset) was a law student at Britain's University of Exeter. Rubber boat rentals are not regulated, prompting concerned people to call for measures to ensure public safety. Photos: HK government, HKEJ, tvb.com
Tang (inset) was a law student at Britain's University of Exeter. Rubber boat rentals are not regulated, prompting concerned people to call for measures to ensure public safety. Photos: HK government, HKEJ, tvb.com

Law student drowns after falling off rubber boat

A 20-year-old law student drowned off Shek O beach after falling into the sea from a rubber boat.

The woman, surnamed Tang, was brought to Eastern Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Apple Daily reports.

Tang, a law student at Britain’s University of Exeter who returned to Hong Kong to spend the Christmas holidays, had originally planned to go hiking with a group of friends in Shek O but changed their minds.

They rented a rubber boat and set off in windy conditions. The Weather Observatory had issued the first cold weather warning this winter.

A strong wave swept up the boat and pushed it out to sea. The boat smashed into underwater rocks, deflating, it investigators said.

Tang’s companions were able to swim back and were rescued by helicopter but she had fallen unconscious.   

It was found that the boat did not come with life vests.

Boat rental stores are not regulated, highlighting the need for measures to ensure public safety, Ming Pao Daily reports, citing experts.

They said life vests should be made mandatory.

A store owner said a life vest costs extra and many boat renters tend not to pay to have it.

Yeung Che-to, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Life Saving Society, warned people against boating in strong winds, adding that boaters must wear life vests at all times.

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TL/AC/RA

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