Third marine dies from injuries sustained in July drill

09/16/2020 03:29 PM
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A landing drill conducted by the Navy in 2017. Photo from the Navy
A landing drill conducted by the Navy in 2017. Photo from the Navy's Facebook page @ROCNAVY.tw

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) A Marine sergeant who was seriously injured after falling overboard during a military drill in July passed away on Wednesday after being hospitalized for two months, according to the Navy.

Sergeant Amale Dwkado, a member of the indigenous Paiwan community, passed away at 9:40 a.m. at Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital's Zuoying Branch, the Navy press release said.

The hospital said he died of heart failure.

The sergeant had been hospitalized since July 3 when his seven-member Marine Corps team fell into rough seas during a drill in waters off Taoziyuan beach in Kaohsiung as they simulated a response to enemy forces landing.

Among the seven who fell overboard, three were in critical condition while the other one sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The other two who were in critical condition, Gunnery Sergeant Chen Chih-jung (陳志榮) and Corporal Tsai Po-yu (蔡博宇) died on July 5.

Amale Dwkado remained unconscious throughout his hospitalization and was taken off extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support on July 12.

In its press statement, the Navy offered condolences over the death of the sergeant, while pledging to posthumously promote him and provide compensation and funeral assistance to his family.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she was deeply saddened by the marine's death.

The president also said she has instructed the Ministry of National Defense to provide the serviceman's family with everything they need, according to presidential spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵).

The Navy Command previously said the initial findings of an investigation into the incident indicated it was caused by an unexpected wave surge.

(By Matt Yu, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Joseph Yeh)

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