Between the pandemic and the inability to travel, its no surprise that Hong Kong-ers are flocking to find hidden beaches, takin on more challenging hikes and scrambling rocks to follow the coastline. Anything to get that outdoor fix.
Just think, a few months ago you rarely saw anybody paddle boarding. Now it's all the rage! While it's admirable, we're all getting our slice of vitamin D and embracing a more active lifestyle. It's meant that there has been a significant hike in rescue calls, accidents and deaths.
Lockdown Fatigue Has Driven People Into Nature
In a police statement, they said there had been 21 deaths hiking-related deaths since January to mid-August, which is more than double than last year, which was 12. On top of that, there have been 124 hiking-related injuries since this year already. At one point, there were more deaths from hiking accidents than there were COVID-related deaths.
The police, fire department, Government Flying Service and the Civil Aid Service have conducted 148 rescue operations this year alone. Including a 70-year-old woman and her son who got stuck camping in a typhoon.
The search time exceeds 3,500 hours. The number has continued to rise since June, and the situation is worrying.
In a statement, the police elaborated that the cause of this was likely due to inexperienced hikers who are often unprepared for their journey. The spike can also be attributed to changes in weather, getting lost, heat stroke, or deviations from assigned hiking routes.
Be Cautious On Your Next Outdoor Adventure
It may seem obvious, but it's worth reiterating, to avoid being part of the statistic, remember:
Bring plenty of waters along your adventure
Always check the weather in advance
Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
Make sure to bring your phone should you ever need to call for assistance
Alert other of your whereabouts in advance
If you are looking for an excellent hike to push your ever-growing limits, check out our list of Hong Kong's most challenging hikes. See if you can face The Twins, Pyramid Hill, Shek Uk Shan, Sharp Peak, and more.
Adventure on safely, everyone!