A 24-year-old woman who was rescued after her kayak capsized in a sudden bout of bad weather on Sunday has died.

Pak Sha Chau in Sai Kung. Photo: sch0705, via Flickr CC2.0.

The woman, surnamed Lau, passed away at Tseung Kwan O Hospital at around 1:20 a.m. on Monday, around nine hours after the accident in Sai Kung’s Pak Sha Chau.

Hong Kong was hit by an abrupt spell of rain and thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon. The Observatory warned of “intense gusts reaching 70 km/h” in a tweet just before 4 p.m.

The thunderstorm warning was first issued at 2:45 p.m., but the weather had remained calm until the late afternoon.

Lau was among eight people – including two children – who were rescued off Pak Sha Chau at around 4 p.m., when big waves caused some kayaks to capsize, tipping paddlers into the water.

Lau was unconscious at the time of her rescue but regained consciousness after undergoing CPR en route to Tseung Kwan O Hospital, HK01 reported.

However, her condition took a turn for the worse in the hospital, local media reported, and attempts to revive her failed.

According to local media, there were around 20 kayaks off Pak Sha Chau – its Chinese name literally meaning “white sand island ” – at the time. The island, a short boat ride from the Sai Kung Public Pier, is a popular kayaking spot.

Tseung Kwan O Hospital. Photo: Wikicommons.

Authorities received around 20 calls for help within an hour around the time that the squalls hit, according to HK01. Most were related to people taking part in water activities in places including Ma On Shan and Tai Po.

Last year, a man in his 60s died after being struck by lightning while swimming near Green Egg Island in the southern part of Sai Kung.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.