More than 200 emergency workers have launched a third day of rescue operations involving an air-land-sea search for the former chairman of Bank of Communications (Hong Kong), who went missing while on a country park hike on Sunday.
Wednesday’s search for Shou Fugang, 59, covered Shek Uk Shan in Sai Kung Country Park, where his telephone signal was last detected with the help of a telecoms company, according to a law enforcement source.
“It is possible his mobile phone had run out of battery so no signal from his phone has since been detected,” he said.
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The source said emergency personnel had searched Shek Uk Shan and nearby areas on Monday and Tuesday but found no trace of Shou.
Shek Uk Shan is about 5km from Wong Shek pier, one of the destinations of a ferry that Shou took on Sunday.
The source said security camera footage showed he had boarded the ferry at Ma Liu Shui ferry pier in Sha Tin at about 8am that day.
He said investigations revealed that Shou left his home at Braemar Hill Mansions in North Point shortly before 6.45am and took a minibus to Fortress Hill MTR Station, where he caught a train to University MTR station. He then walked to the Ma Liu Shui ferry pier.
The search and rescue operation involved more than 200 emergency rescuers from the police force, fire department and Civil Aid Service. He added that a Government Flying Service helicopter and marine police launches were also deployed in the operation.
The Fire Services Department said three tracking dogs were also called in with the support of a drone for Wednesday’s operation, which covered areas such as Lo Tsai Shek, and Pak Sha O in the country park.
As of 1pm on Wednesday, the search was ongoing, according to its spokesman.
Shou is a non-executive director of the Bank of Communications (BOCOM) as well as the executive director and CEO of China BOCOM Insurance Company Limited. He was chairman of Bank of Communications (Hong Kong) from 2017 to 2019.
BOCOM International on Wednesday confirmed Shou had not been contacted since he went hiking on Sunday, saying China BOCOM Insurance Company had helped his family file a report with police.
Shou failed to show up for a Sunday night dinner appointment with his niece in Causeway Bay.
The woman contacted one of his colleagues on Monday and a police report was made after they entered Shou’s flat with a spare key but found he was not there.
A map of Sai Kung was on a table in his flat. His wife, who is in Shanghai, told police that Shou texted her to say he would go hiking on Sunday.
According to the bank’s website, Shou joined the bank in 1987 and was appointed as director in August 2007 before being redesignated as a non-executive director in 2016.
In the first six months of this year, firefighters were deployed in 566 mountain rescue operations. The number of mountain rescue incidents rose to 602 in 2020 from 215 in the previous year.
There were five hiking-related fatalities in the first six months of 2021, the Fire Services Department said. The number of hiking deaths fell to 11 in 2020 from 13 in 2019.
The number of injuries in hiking-related cases reached 351 between January and June of this year, higher than the 323 recorded in the whole of 2020. Some 121 people were injured in 2019.