Chiayi County: Three people drowned at a popular scenic spot in Chiayi County’s Meishan Township, after a 14 year-old girl fell into deep water.
The girl’s 16 year-old sister dived in to save her, and was followed by the girls’ mother and father. The parents and older sister drowned, while the younger girl was the only one to survive.
When paramedics arrived at the scene, the 3 victims showed no vital signs.
The Wu (吳) family had traveled from their home in Nantou County to visit a spot called Daxiagu (大峽谷). The river gorge and swimming spot where they drowned is part of an privately-owned eco-farm.
This evening, Mr Wu’s distraught sister told reporters that the family had paid a fee to enter the area, and that the ecological farm should be held responsible.
Photographs taken by paramedics at the scene, and a video from the eco-farm’s Youtube channel show a small, and relatively benign swimming hole.
In 2007, Michael Turton wrote about Taiwan’s worrying rate of drownings. Despite living on an island, not only are Taiwanese surrounded by water, they also enjoy an abundance of rivers and lakes. Yet many cannot swim.
“I require every Taipei student to swim; if they can’t pass the test they won’t graduate. Why do I do that? Because I think that is very, very important, integral part of their education.”
~Ma Ying-jeou, Mayor of Taipei 1998–2006.
Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Girls Senior High School clarified yesterday that graduating students will still be awarded diplomas even if they fail to pass the mandatory swimming test.
~April 27, 2010 (after parents complained)