Cinematographer Drowns on Hong Kong Shoot for Jackie Chan's 'Skiptrace'

Fan Bingbing Jackie Chan Split - H 2013
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Fan Bingbing Jackie Chan Split - H 2013

Chan Kwok-hung drowned after a vessel capsized off Lantau Island

The cinematographer for the upcoming Jackie Chan movie Skiptrace drowned on Wednesday after a vessel carrying the crew capsized off Lantau Island, Hong Kong reports the South China Morning Post.

Film industry sources named the drowned man as 51 year-old Chan Kwok-hung.

Hong Kong police said the vessel capsized 100 feet from the shore, with seven crew members able to swim back to the shore after the accident. Tragically, Chan Kwok-hung did not make it, and was found unconscious and later declared dead at North Lantau Hospital. 

Police are said to be investigating and interviewing the seven survivors. THR has learned that Jackie Chan was onshore when the boat capsized and he reportedly jumped into the water to help rescue crew members.

Read more Jackie Chan's Action Title 'Skiptrace' to be Co-Financed By Shanghai New Culture Media

Chan Kwok-hung was a 20-year industry veteran and had previously worked with Hong Kong directors Stephen Chow, Jingle Ma and Chan Chi-ying. He was nominated for two Hong Kong cinematography awards for Jingle Ma's Summer Holiday (2000) and Fly Me to Polaris (1999). 

Tenky Tin Kai-man, chairman of the Movie Production Executives Association, told the SCMP that Chan Kwok-hung was well-loved by colleagues, adding that the accident was a tragic lesson on safety for those working in the industry: “We had a discussion of whether we should revamp our safety guidelines earlier this year, but this accident happened before our revamp."

Tin also said his association was working on raising money for Chan Kwok-hung’s family.

A U.S.-China co-production directed by Renny HarlinSkiptrace stars Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing and Johnny Knoxville, who replaced Seann William Scott. The story, based on an idea by Chan, centers on a good Hong Kong detective (Chan) whose niece (Bingbing) gets into trouble with a crime syndicate run by a man the detective has been chasing for a decade. The cop is forced to track down the one person who can help save the niece — a fast-talking American gambler (Knoxville) — and bring him to Hong Kong after a trek across China.

Update 10.23pm Dec. 17 - Additional information added on events at the time of the accident.