A paraglider went missing after strong winds apparently threw him off course during a weekend sporting activity in Lantau, prompting authorities to launch a search operation.
The missing person, a male member of the Hong Kong Paragliding Association, went flying along with a group of adventure enthusiasts on Sunday when they were pummeled by gusts of wind.
The others managed to get back to the ground in emergency landings, but there was one individual surnamed Chung, in his 40s, who was nowhere to be found.
It is feared that the man got carried away somewhere and crashed into a hillside after encountering “Shi Hu Feng”.
“Shi Hu Feng” or “Wind of the Stony Lake” generally denotes “squally thunderstorms moving in suddenly from the north”, according to the website of the Hong Kong Observatory.
HK01.com cited a source at the scene as saying that the accident happened after a group of paragliders took flight from a hill at Pak Kung Au in Lantau Island in the afternoon.
Of the dozen or so paragliders, four were blown off course by the squalls. Luckily, three of themwere rescued and sent to hospital.
But there was no trace of the fourth person.
At 7:40 pm, when other gliders gathered again, it was confirmed that one group member was unaccounted for. They found the missing man’s motorbike was still parked at the same place where he had left it before taking his flight.
The group then reported the matter to the police.
A multi-agency rescue team, comprising personnel from the Fire Services Department, paramedics, Civil Aid Service, police, and the Government Flying Service, then launched a rescue operation.
The rescuers focused on three areas that included Sunset Peak, Nam Shan and Cheung Sha in the wee hours of Monday. As of morning, Chung was still nowhere to be found.
According to the association, which has been assisting rescuers, Chung — who was no novice in paragliding — might have landed somewhere in East Lantau based on the weather condition while he was in the air.
The association was said to be planning to conduct a search in the Yi Tung Shan area during the daytime Monday.
Meanwhile, it called on the public to get in touch if they have any information or leads on the missing person or see his glider aircraft.
A paraglider speculated that Chung’s walkie-talkie may have been out of order, which may explain why he was unable to make distress calls.
According to some fresh media reports, a signal from Chung’s mobile phone was detected by the police in the Chi Ma Wan area, which is near Cheung Chau, as of noon Monday.
The search operation is now focused on the area.
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