Taiwanese Navy rules out human, mechanical error in marine training accident

Lieutenant General Sun Chang-te says strong, excessive waves responsible for unfortunate mishap

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Taiwanese Navy officials hold one minute of silence at Monday's press conference

Taiwanese Navy officials hold one minute of silence at Monday's press conference (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lieutenant General Sun Chang-te (孫常德), director of political warfare at the Naval Command, said Monday (July 6) that a comprehensive assessment of Friday's marine training accident ruled out a human or mechanical error, while environmental factors, including increasingly strong and excessive swells, were identified as the main causes of the incident.

The Navy was conducting a joint landing operation when a rubber boat carrying seven marines capsized near Taoziyuan Beach in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, CNA reported.

Four marines were taken to Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital in Zuoying, where three of them, Lance Corporal Tsai Po-yu (蔡博宇), Staff Sergeant Chen Chih-chung (陳志榮), and Sergeant Amal Dakadu, were diagnosed with pulmonary edema and treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Tsai and Chen, unfortunately, passed away on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

The Naval Command held an interim press conference regarding the accident Monday afternoon. Lieutenant General Sun and others attended the meeting, observing a minute of silence out of respect of the marines before the conference began.