Elderly man swims while Typhoon No. 8 signal is in force, gets stranded at sea

While most Hongkongers are treating the presence of Typhoon Haima as an excuse to kick back and relax at home, apparently one elderly fitness fanatic had another idea.

An elderly man reportedly had to be rescued by the Fire Services Department after he went swimming in the open sea this afternoon, despite a Tropical Cyclone No. 8 Signal being in force since 6:10am.

According to a witness, the man, who set off from Tsing Yi, eventually got stranded and had to be brought back to shore by firefighters.

Photos and videos of the incident were uploaded to Facebook an hour ago, where they have since been shared widely by Hong Kong netizens. An overwhelming amount of the comments are unreservedly scathing, with hundreds of people criticising the man’s foolhardiness (to put it nicely) despite his age.

One person wrote, “What a waste of human and material resources. The government should introduce legislature that penalises anyone who needs saving after continuing to take part in outdoor activities when the No. 8 signal’s up.”

Many others appeared to agree, saying that the firefighters were endangered by the swimmer’s actions. One commenter compared the man to a hiker who was widely criticised in January after a clip of her arguing with police stationed at Tai Mo Shan during Hong Kong’s coldest weather in 60 years went viral.

In the video, an officer can be heard telling her not to go up to the mountain as it was dangerously slippery, at which point the hiker rather belligerently retorts, “Dangerous? So what! It’s our responsibility to keep ourselves safe — they’re our lives — and if something happens to me then it’s your responsibility to save me. “


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