A 25-year-old man was killed while surfing in Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong Island’s Shek O on Wednesday while the standby typhoon No. 1 signal was hoisted.

The man, said to be an assistant engineer, went to Big Wave Bay – also known as Tai Long Wan – to surf with a group of friends, including his girlfriend, Sing Tao Daily reported.

The Observatory hoisted typhoon a No. 1 signal on Wednesday morning as tropical cyclone Yutu came near Hong Kong. However, the group did not cancel their surfing trip. When the group arrived at the beach, the waves were one to two meters high.

At 3 pm, when the man was about 50 meters from shore, a three-meter wave hit him and he was knocked off his board and into the water. Only the board was found. His friends sought help from lifeguards on the beach while the man’s girlfriend called police.

There were still about 10 people surfing when the accident happened.

Half an hour later, the man was found lying unconsciousness on the beach. He was sent to the Eastern Hospital and pronounced dead at 5pm. He was known as a good swimmer and had started surfing two years ago, the Oriental Daily reported.

After an investigation, police believe he was hit by a big wave and drowned.