13 Hikers Rescued (Then Arrested) in Guangdong

By Billy Jiang, August 4, 2023

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Recent incidents show a number of hikers have been defying the restrictions and entering off-limits areas, leading to dangerous situations and rescue operations.

Late-July, the Yingde Public Security responded to two distress calls from groups of hikers who found themselves stranded after venturing into the off-limits Shimentai Nature Reserve.

In the first case, five hikers were reported missing on July 28 after embarking on a privately organized trek in the Shimentai Sunset Grand Canyon. 

A dedicated search and rescue effort ensued, and by July 30, all five hikers were successfully located and rescued.

The second incident involved a group of eight hikers who encountered difficulties inside the nature reserve on July 30. 

Due to challenging terrain and slippery paths, rescue vehicles were only able to approach a point approximately 5 kilometers away from their location. 

Nevertheless, through the coordinated efforts, all eight hikers were safely guided down the mountain.

Both cases serve as stark reminders of the risks associated with unauthorized entry into protected areas.


Hikers about to get arrested after they had been rescued. Image via Yingde Public Security.

The rescued 13 hikers were then arrested at local police station, and will face fines for their reckless actions.

Such incidents have become increasingly common during the peak travel season, with some visitors disregarding warnings from park authorities or professional guides.

Tragedy Strikes in Shanwei

On August 1, in Haifeng County, Shanwei, Guangdong Province, a sudden flash flood in the Lianhua Mountain area caught many visitors off guard. 

People seeking safety on the riverbank. Video via New Express

Video footage captured the frantic scramble of people seeking safety on the riverbank as the waters surged.

In another video circulating online, numerous individuals were seen enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the river, with some even setting up tents in the middle of the stream.

Investigations revealed that the incident occurred in an area not designated for tourism, and access to the river had been prohibited with the use of fencing. 

Despite efforts by staff to warn visitors against swimming in the river, their cautions went unheeded.

Choosing Safe Destinations

As the demand for unique and less explored travel destinations grows, many travel agencies have begun offering routes to lesser-known places. 


Posts of camping at remote river locations on social media platforms. Screenshot by That's

However, some of these areas may not be fully developed or could come with various safety risks.

In light of these recent incidents, we urge all travelers, whether seasoned hikers or casual explorers, to choose travel destinations with caution, prioritizing safety above all and making this summer a season of cherished memories for all the right reasons.

[Cover image via Yingde Public Security]

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