Seven members of Philippine dragon boat team die in tragic accident

Team was practicing in waters off Boracay to prepare for tournament in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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Dragon boat team member rescued from waters off of Boracay, Sept. 25 (Philippine Coast Guard photo)

Dragon boat team member rescued from waters off of Boracay, Sept. 25 (Philippine Coast Guard photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A dragon boat team in the Philippines suffered tragedy on Wednesday (Sept. 25) when seven of their team members died in the ocean off of Boracay Island.

The team was reportedly training for the upcoming Kaohsiung City Cup, an international dragon boat competition scheduled for Nov. 8-10. According to Channel News Asia, the team was practicing on the ocean in the early morning when large waves swamped the boat, causing it to capsize, resulting in the deaths of four male and three female team members.

Fourteen other team members were able to make it safely to shore or were rescued by nearby boats, according to reports. A local official was quoted by Channel News Asia suggesting that some team members may have been critically injured due to hitting the rocky shoreline when their boat overturned.

The Philippine Coast Guard stated that the accident happened at 7:40 a.m. Authorities are reportedly conducting an investigation into the tragic accident.