A Chinese dissident previously jailed for criticising Xi Jinping has fled to South Korea by jetski, towing barrels of fuel behind him to ensure he completed the long journey.

The man identified by Chinese activist groups as Kwon Pyong, 35, was arrested last Wednesday night after he got stuck in mud flats near Incheon.

South Korea’s coastguard said Kwon had travelled by jetski from Shandong province, a distance of about 186 miles (300km). It said the Incheon coastguard had been contacted by the military about an “unidentified vessel” it had been tracking that evening for about 90 minutes, which appeared to have become stranded on tidal flats near the Incheon Port cruise terminal. Separately, the coastguard was contacted by emergency services, which had received a call from the man asking for assistance.