27th June 2020 – (Hong Kong) Many fishermen and boat owners have allegedly spotted a 3-metre long shark recently near Basalt Island and Sai Kung. A video of the shark was captured and shared on a WhatsApp group chat.
On 22nd June this year, the police received a report from the public that there was a suspected shark spotted near the Golden Beach in Castle Peak Bay, Tuen Mun and that someone was missing. A number of fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene, and police officers and firemen searched around the location. No sharks were found at the scene for the time being but further investigation was underway.
Earlier on 2nd June, a lifeguard on duty on Golden Beach in Tuen Mun spotted a fish that resembled a shark. To ensure the safety of swimmers, he immediately use the public announcement system to warn swimmers to return to the beach immediately. On 3rd June morning, a man on dragon boat spotted a 30-cm long shark carcass outside the shark prevention net. It is understood that the body of the shark found was a pup. The carcass was subsequently released into the sea. The red flag at Golden Beach was removed and the beach area was unsealed.
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department also announced that due to the sight of a one-metre-long large fish, red flag has now been hoisted at Golden Beach in Tuen Mun District for the sake of safety. Beach-goers are advised not to swim at the beach.
The years between 1991 and 1995 marked Hong Kong waters as the most dangerous in the world courtesy of a series of fatal attacks occurring in and around the eastern waters of Sai Kung District. In the space of a 4 year period, 10 people were either killed or went missing in incidents that point to a large shark (or sharks) patrolling the eastern waters. Perhaps the most shocking fact is that the last three attacks occurred within just a two-week period. The reason you now see shark nets around all of the Govt gazetted beaches (i.e beaches which the Govt has life guards and changing facilities) is because of these attacks. (The following shark attack incidents were compiled by http://hongkongandmacaustuff.blogspot.com/)
7th June 1991
A 65-year-old female was swimming at Silverstrand Beach in Sai Kung early in the morning. Silverstrand is an area of water just off the Clearwater Bay Road. It’s very popular with people for all sorts of water-based activities, including swimming. It’s not clear if there was any witnesses because the attack was thought to have occurred anytime between 0600 and 0720. One of the possible culprits considered for this attack is a Tiger Shark. The victim was bitten in the abdomen and also had one of her legs severed in the attack, so without doubt it was a big shark.
28th June 1991
There was a report of an unnamed fisherman, killed when he had his arm bitten off somewhere in Sai Kung.
29th June 1991
Another death, this time a 22-year-old male who is listed as just being attacked and killed at Basalt Island in outer Port Shelter.
Late May 1993
Silverstrand Bay once more and a female goes missing and is never found. No one can find a trace of any body and so it is assumed that she has been taken by a shark.
1st June 1993
In Sheung Sze Wan, just around the corner from Silverstrand, a male swimmer, aged 42, and a hairdresser by profession was attacked and killed after his leg was bitten off.
12th June 1993
A 6- year-old male was attacked at Silverstrand after ignoring a shark warning that had been issued. He had his arm and leg bitten off. This was the last attack of ’93.
1994 – date unknown
A female who was playing volleyball with her friends before she was mauled by a 5-7 metre tiger shark.
1st June 1995
A 44-year-old Physical Education teacher, and former Asian games competitive swimmer, was attacked whilst scuba diving near to Silverstrand. No one saw the attack but he was reported missing after failing to return home for the day. His car was found parked at Hang Hau and his friend ended up finding his body – still in full scuba gear – with a leg bitten off in just three metres of water.
2nd June 1995
A 29-year-old male hairdresser was attacked whilst swimming at Sheung Sze Wan. Although not immediately fatal, the attack – witnessed by beach-goers – involved the swimmer screaming for help before being dragged under water. He suffered severe tissue loss on his upper thigh and died as a result of his injury. He had been swimming despite the shark warning being issued and only 24 hours after the previous day’s victim had been found. Various reports put the sharks size at around 2 metres.
13th June 1995
Clearwater Bay is now the scene of a fatal attack on a lone 45-year-old female swimmer. Her arm and leg were bitten off in an attack thought to have been a tiger shark. This attack is significant because it was officially (so far) the last known attack in Hong Kong.
These attacks were by no means the first to occur in HK. Sharks have been well documented in the sea around HK and the earliest documented attack occurred back in 1945. But it was the frequency and ferocity of the attacks – all fatal – that made people stand up and examine how they may be prevented.