50-year-old Hong Kong tourist dies after scuba diving incident in South Africa

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Photo for illustration purpose only.

22nd April 2024 – (Cape Town) A holiday outing turned tragic for a 50-year-old man from Hong Kong who died after a scuba diving excursion near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Sunday morning.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) reported that they were alerted to the emergency around 10:45 am following communications from the Transnet National Ports Authority. The man, who had been part of a diving group, was found unconscious when he surfaced and immediate resuscitation efforts were initiated.

Justin Erasmus, a spokesperson for NSRI Gqeberha, detailed that the man was discovered by the crew of a dive charter boat near the outer Bell Buoy, just half a nautical mile from the entrance to the port. The NSRI rescue craft, Rescue 6 Alpha, already deployed in the area for a local Iron Man competition, was quick to respond.

Despite the concerted efforts of the dive boat crew and later the NSRI medics, the tourist was pronounced dead after being transferred to the NSRI station where advanced life support continued to no avail. The Eastern Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services and Relay ambulance services were also at the scene.

Following the incident, the South African Police Services have opened an inquest into the death. The man’s body has been taken under the care of the Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

The Chinese Consulate in Cape Town confirmed the identity of the deceased as a resident of Hong Kong. Authorities have extended their deepest condolences to the family of the victim, whose holiday turned to tragedy in the unpredictable waters of South Africa’s coastline.