Date
18 December 2017
Rescue personnel pull the motionless body of Cheng from the water after a search operation at the Butterfly Beach on Thursday. Photo: Now TV
Rescue personnel pull the motionless body of Cheng from the water after a search operation at the Butterfly Beach on Thursday. Photo: Now TV

Girl, 11, drowns while swimming off Tuen Mun beach

An 11-year-old girl died from drowning after she went swimming at a beach in Hong Kong’s Tuen Mun area on Thursday.

The tragedy happened after the girl, surnamed Cheng, went to the Butterfly Beach with family and friends in the afternoon for some outdoor fun.

As the girl knew how to swim, her companions did not keep a close watch on her. It was only later, just before dark, that they realized that Cheng was missing.

Alarmed, they notified a lifeguard, who made a preliminary search and helped place a call to the police, Apple Daily reports.

The Government Flying Service and the Fire Services Department (FSD) both sent their personnel for a search operation.

At about 7.40 pm, divers from the FSD managed to locate Cheng in the sea, who was found lying motionless under water about 10 meters away from the shore.

Pulling her out, rescue personnel suspected that Cheng was in a coma due to drowning.

She was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but the efforts failed to revive the girl.

Paramedics then rushed her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead at around 9 pm, leaving her family grief-stricken.

According to the report, Cheng and her family were Lam Tin residents. The young girl was set to become a six-grader in school after the summer.

Following her death, family members are said to have raised questions about the response of the   lifeguard, accusing him of not calling police soon enough.

If the lifeguard had acted more quickly and help arrived sooner, the girl could probably have been saved, family members felt, according to the report.

Thursday’s incident marked the second drowning tragedy at the Butterfly Beach this month.

On July 3, an elderly woman who was said to be in the habit of taking regular morning swims was found dead in the water.

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TL/YH/RC

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