Mother, son killed by rogue wave, family laments not obeying Ghost Month taboo

Mother, son killed by rogue wave after ignoring grandmother's warning to stay away from ocean during Ghost Month

Son (left), Wei (right). (Photos from Wei's Facebook page)

Son (left), Wei (right). (Photos from Wei's Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Taiwanese family is lamenting that their loved ones had not heeded a grandmother's call to observe the taboo of avoiding swimming in the ocean during Ghost Month, reported SETN.

The bodies of a woman surnamed Wei (魏) and her 10-year-old son were found today on Yilan's Mystery Beach after they had been swept out to sea by a rogue wave yesterday (Sept. 2). When their surviving family members rushed to the funeral home to view their bodies, Wei's husband said, "Why torture us like this," while Wei's mother said, "They told you not go into the water, why did they didn't you listen to them?"

After cruising Nan'ao's Mystery Beach in Yilan County on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with friends, Wei and her son were riding on their way back when a massive rogue wave suddenly crashed into them and sucked them into the ocean, never to be seen again alive.

At 6:40 a.m. this morning, Wei's body was recovered from the sea. Four hours later, not far from the beach, the body of her son was recovered as well.

When Wei's husband and mother rushed from Taipei to Yilan to confirm the identities of their lost loved ones, they cried bitterly. Wei's mother said, "Yesterday, at around 1 p.m., I received a message from my daughter, I saw photos of them having fun in the water, and I immediately reminded them that it is Ghost Month and to not play in the water."

The husband then bitterly said, "Is this a dream? Is it not true," "Why torture us like this," "We had not done anything wrong, why?"

The tragic drowning of the mother and son was one of three tragic drownings which took place due to rogue waves on beaches in Yilan yesterday, resulting in at least five deaths. Yet another tragic drowning took place this morning as well after a 60-year-old woman was also washed out to sea by a rogue wave on a beach in Yilan.

Taiwan's Ghost Month (鬼月), observed in the 7th month of the lunar calendar, is still underway, as this year it is running from Aug. 11 to Sept. 9. One of the most feared taboos during Ghost Month in Taiwan is swimming in the ocean, as it is believed evil spirits who had drowned seek the chance of drowning a swimmer to gain an opportunity at rebirth.