Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Coast Guard probes drowning incident, failed life jacket

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said yesterday it was investigating a coast guard officer falling into the sea and drowning as he was boarding a boat to carry out security work.

Coast guard officer Wu Sheng-hung (吳聲鴻) drowned on Oct. 24. His family told the Chinese-language newspaper the Apple Daily that Wu was wearing a life jacket when the incident occurred. The life jacket was not inflated.

Wu's family questioned why none of Wu's colleagues tried to rescue him at the time.

The CGA yesterday said in a press statement that the bureau had launched an investigation to learn why Wu's life jacket did not work after he fell into the sea.

It said the incident probably occurred because either the steel cylinder which can be used to inflate the life jacket broke or the life jacket itself was faulty.

The incident took place at a port in Hsinchu on Oct. 24.

As Wu and other officers boarded a fishing boat to carry out a security check, Wu suddenly slipped and fell into the water.

The CGA said Wu was fished out of the sea after nearly a half an hour struggle by his colleagues, but died on the way to a nearby hospital.

Wu's family alleged that the CGA did not train its officers properly before sending them to carry out work at sea.

The CGA said that it would compensate Wu's family for the incident.

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