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Hong Kong teen found alive after a week lost in the wilderness

In an extraordinary twist, Hong Kong teenager Matthew Tsang was miraculously found alive after a week lost in the wilderness.

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A 17-year-old teenager from Hong Kong, Matthew Tsang, was miraculously found alive after being missing for a week in the wilderness.

The search for Tsang captured the hearts and attention of the Hong Kong community and beyond, ending in a successful rescue operation on October 11, 2023.

Matthew Tsang, a student at Diocesan Boys’ School, was reported missing on October 4, 2023.

On Friday (13 Oct), he had left school during the day without a mobile phone, carrying only his wallet, and did not return home, sparking concern among his family and friends.

His mother, Amy Chan, took to Facebook to spread the word about her missing son, appealing to the public for help. This post garnered significant public attention in Hong Kong, leading to the initiation of a search and rescue operation for Tsang.

According to the police, the last known sighting of Tsang was in Siu Lek Yuen, a residential district in Hong Kong, heading towards Ma On Shan Country Park at approximately 2:30 PM on the day he disappeared.

Tsang was discovered alive on Wednesday (11 Oct) evening. (Photo: asiaone.com)

A joint task force, including the Hong Kong Fire Department, Police, Civil Aid Services, Diocesan Boys’ School alumni, and civilian rescue teams, was mobilized to comb the park, despite heavy rain and strong winds brought on by Typhoon Koinu.

The search efforts included a variety of methods, such as search dogs and artificial intelligence-assisted analysis of over 10,000 drone images of the park.

The breakthrough came on Wednesday (11 Oct) evening when Tsang was discovered alive, albeit naked, in the underbrush near a river.

“We provided him with warm clothing and energy drinks. After a medical examination, we decided it was best to airlift him to the hospital,” stated Chow Cheuk Fung, Commander of Sha Tin Fire Station.

Matthew Tsang’s mother expressed her gratitude to the search and rescue teams for their relentless efforts and said, “Matthew’s physical and mental condition is stable, and he is now receiving medical care at the hospital. Please do not worry. Thank you, everyone!”

It remains unclear why Tsang went missing, but his mother mentioned to the media that her son, who was preparing for the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examinations, had been under academic pressure and stress recently.

A surprising twist in the story came to light when it was revealed that a drone had apparently captured images of Tsang a day before he was found.

These images, though taken, were not immediately discovered and only examined after Tsang’s rescue. The images showed Tsang alone and naked in the woods, raising questions about how he survived in the wilderness for a week.

Aerial photographs depict Matthew Tsang amidst dense vegetation captured by a drone. (Photo: thestandard.com.hk)

Emergency doctor Chung Ho-yin from Queen Mary Hospital stated that a person could survive on only water for a maximum of four weeks but cannot survive more than four days without water.

Tsang’s decision to be without clothes in the mountains posed risks of hypothermia and heatstroke, making his survival even more remarkable.

Hiking experts weighed in, suggesting that Tsang may have received some form of help. Conway Leung Nim-ho, a hiking expert, speculated that Tsang might have found a village or road nearby and could have sought assistance.

Others believed that Tsang may have gone elsewhere before returning to the mountain, emphasizing the challenges posed by the rugged terrain.

As the Hong Kong community celebrates the safe return of Matthew Tsang, the incident reminds everyone that academic success is just one facet of a student’s journey, and it’s crucial to prioritize their well-being and emotional health.

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I don’t understand. Why did he end up naked?

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