Hong Kong paraglider who went missing for six hours dies after being found unconscious

A 74-year-old Hong Kong paraglider who went missing for more than six hours while flying on Lantau Island has died after being found unconscious.

The police said on Tuesday morning the man was certified dead at North Lantau Hospital, adding that the cause of death could only be confirmed after autopsy.

The man, reportedly a retired police officer with years of paragliding experience, took off on Monday afternoon from eastern Sunset Peak, the third-highest in Hong Kong.

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Due to foggy weather, he was said to have lost his way and contact with his teammates, according to Anson Cheng, founder of the Hong Kong Guardians volunteer rescue group.

The man and five friends went to Pak Kung Au with walkie-talkies to paraglide on Sunset Peak, according to a police source.

At about 2.30pm, the man was the first in the group to take off. But shortly after, his peers saw him being blown towards clouds by a sudden gust of wind and heading in the direction of Pui O, also on Lantau.

The group tried to contact him by walkie-talkie and phone but received no response, and he was also out of sight.

Paragliders on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Photo: James Wendlinger

At 3pm, when they called out his name, the man managed to communicate through his walkie-talkie, saying he had landed on a tree, and was trapped and injured.

He also said his mobile phone was in his backpack and he could not reach it. He then became uncontactable.

A group member called police for help at about 3.20pm, a spokesman for the force said.

At about 9.25pm, firefighters located the paraglider but could not reach him until 9.50pm, the Fire Services Department said.

A spokeswoman said efforts were under way to move him down the hill, and an ambulance was ready at Pak Kung Au.

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