Landing drill accident caused by surge waves: Navy

07/04/2020 05:42 PM
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Photo taken from facebook.com/ROCMarineCorp
Photo taken from facebook.com/ROCMarineCorp

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) The capsizing of a boat Friday during a Navy landing drill was caused by an unexpected surge of waves, Taiwan's military said Saturday, citing the initial findings of an investigation into the accident that left three soldiers critically injured.

The raiding craft from the 99th Brigade of the Marine Corps overturned off Taoziyuan beach in Kaohsiung at around 9 a.m. Friday with seven soldiers aboard, all of whom were rescued.

As of Saturday, however, three of the soldiers were in hospital intensive care units with pulmonary edema, a condition caused by an abnormal amount of fluid in the lungs, according to the Navy.

In a press release Saturday, the Navy Command said the initial findings of the investigation into the accident showed that it was caused by surge waves, which are unpredictable waves that appear suddenly.

The navy is looking at ways to prevent similar accidents and to improve safety during troop training, the Navy Command said.

All seven soldiers who fell overboard during the accident are experienced and elite combatants, according to the Navy.

Meanwhile, morale remains high among the troops that are continuing the military exercise, the Navy Command said.

Major General Lin Chuan-sheng (林傳盛), political warfare chief in the Marine Corps, had told CNA earlier that four preparatory training sessions had been held at Taoziyuan beach before the drill.

Furthermore, he said, the regular training of those troops involves swimming in full battle gear, which weighs more than 10 kilograms, craft maneuvering and beach landing.

In Taiwan's military, soldiers who lose their weapons due to force majeure events are usually not penalized, according to Lin.

(By Chen Yun-yu and Emerson Lim)

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