The Leisure and Cultural Services (LCSD) has fined a cleaning contractor for misconduct after a series of photographs showed the worker dragging a leather couch into the sea at Gemini Beach near Tsuen Wan.
Photos supplied by an HKFP reader showed that the man left the couch in the ocean to drift away.
The man – who was in possession of a “Johnson” cleaning uniform – was then seen returning back to the facilities building.
The incident took place last Tuesday over the course of around ten minutes, according to the photographer.
The source, who provided footage of the incident, later fished the abandoned couch from the sea and returned it to shore.
According to the LCSD, the couch had been found by the cleaner after it had washed up onto the shore. The cleaner had been instructed by a beach supervisor to leave the sofa on the shore temporarily to be processed afterwards.
The department told HKFP in a statement on Friday that it was “unacceptable” that the worker defied orders and basic protocol: “It is much regrettable that the worker ignored our normal arrangement to push the refuse back to the sea subsequently without reporting to the beach supervisor.”
“His reckless act is obviously unacceptable and hence a default notice with financial penalty has been issued to the contractor for the worker’s misconduct,” the statement read.
The department confirmed that a special service to remove the couch is being arranged. Meanwhile, the beach supervisor has been briefed to keep close watch over daily operations at Gemini Beach.
According to the government, Gemini Beach is assigned two daily cleaning contractors and is only occasionally inspected by a beach supervisor from the nearby Hoi Mei Wan Beach on a random basis.
LCSD’s statement added that the department had not received an official complaint regarding the incident. The source of the abandoned couch is unknown.
Correction: 15.15: The headline of this article was clarified to reflect that the contractor was fined, as opposed to the worker.