Amy Chan and her husband woke up at 6am on Sunday and despite an approaching typhoon that darkened Hong Kong’s skies, they set out once again to search for their 17-year-old son who has been missing since Wednesday.
Matthew Tsang Hin-chit was last spotted stepping out of Shek Mun station and walking towards Ma On Shan Country Park along Hang Shin Link in Siu Lik Yuen at around 2.30pm that day last week after he left the Diocesan Boys’ School in Mong Kok.
“We followed police’s information and walked the same route where Matthew was spotted from Shek Mun station. We just used our parents’ instinct to walk up the hills, thinking what would Matthew have walked towards next if he was hiking with us,” Chan said.
She said she had to return at one point as the path was too steep and ran into a search party consisting of police, the Fire Services Department and Civil Aid Services, numbering between 80 and 100 in total.
Chan was speaking after the Observatory issued a No 8 alert for Typhoon Koinu at 12.40pm on Sunday, which was further raised to No 9 at 7pm. The forecaster has said it will consider raising the signal to the maximum No 10, depending on wind conditions. Authorities received reports of at least eight people injured as the weather worsened.
Chan expressed appreciation for the Countryside Volunteer Search Team and a group consisting of alumni and parents of Matthew’s schoolmates in helping search for the teen.
“The rescue team divided into three groups and covered the Shek Mun hillside and they started on Saturday evening till this morning at 3am and showed up again,” she said.
“The parents and alumni group were posting motivational fliers around the base of the hill just in case Matthew makes it out of the mountain. He will see the note and be motivated that mum and dad are waiting for him to go home.”
But the teams were forced to halt their search when the No 8 alert came into force.
“It was very rainy and windy, and I think it was the right move to pause the mission to prevent potential accidents,” she said. “The teams and I are planning what to do once the typhoon signals are cancelled. We are thinking of what to do differently on the hill next and what have we missed during our search.”
The Hong Kong Guardians on Sunday said on Facebook that it had put a team on standby during the typhoon with some volunteers continuing to search for Tsang.
Chan said she had not been in contact with the group but appreciated the help.
“I have nothing to say except thank you to everyone who contributed their time to help search for my son.
“I hope Matthew is able to keep his spirit and fight for his life until we are able to save him. I will not give up. I hope people who have information about Matthew will come forward and contact me or police,” Chan said.
Tsang was wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, black trousers, black shoes and a black mask when he was last seen.
He is about 1.63 metres (five feet and three inches) tall, and weighs about 50kg (110lbs). He has a square face and short, black hair.
People with information that can help the inquiry can also visit any police station.