Dennis Chong / The Standard HK
Monday, September 20, 2010
The gambler, identified by police only as Xu, made his fatal leap off the Star Cruises vessel SuperStar Aquarius as it sailed back to Hong Kong from international waters shortly before 9am yesterday.
Rescuers searched for Xu for almost an hour before fishing him out of the water. He was certified dead by the ship's doctor.
Xu apparently boarded the ship on Saturday for a two-day gambling trip. He was seen betting at the baccarat table right after dinner.
According to several passengers, he gambled until closing at 8am yesterday and lost almost HK$5 million.
He was seen wandering on the deck for about an hour before jumping. Crew were alerted immediately that a man was overboard. The captain sent a rescue team and notified the Hong Kong authorities.
Genting Hong Kong, a Hong Kong- listed company that operates the Star Cruises fleet, said there were 1,500 passengers on board at the time of the incident, which happened in Hong Kong waters.
Police said there are no suspicious circumstances in the case, which was classified as "man overboard."
A police spokesman said they received a report of a man jumping off a ship at 9.50am when the vessel was sailing south of the Kwo Chau islands, south of Sai Kung.
Marine police and the Fire Services Department dispatched rescuers to the area and the Government Flying Services sent a helicopter.
Passengers disembarked before police investigators boarded the vessel to inspect the body. It was later transferred to Kwai Chung Mortuary.
A Genting Hong Kong spokeswoman said the company is getting in touch with the man's next-of- kin.
According to the company's website, SuperStar Aquarius departs daily from Hong Kong and, besides casino facilities, has a variety of entertainment and sports facilities.