Model Olivia Ku (顧思妤) reportedly drowned yesterday during an underwater photo shoot in the sea near Houpihu (後壁湖) off Pingtung County’s Hengchun Township (恆春).
Firefighters and members of Coast Patrol Corp 6-3 said Ku was pulled out of the water unconscious at 3:26pm yesterday, adding that she died at a local hospital after attempts at resuscitation failed.
The coast guard refused to comment on the circumstances surrounding the incident, or a rumor that Ku had removed her breathing apparatus for aesthetic effect prior to the incident, saying that the investigation is ongoing and a prosecutor assigned to the case was due to survey the scene later yesterday afternoon.
Photo courtesy of Eelin Modeling Agency
Ku, 25, had been an avid amateur diver for the past three years and frequently volunteered to clean refuse from the seabeds near Pingtung, said a commercial diver who was with her during the session, adding that she was “a cheerful and outgoing fellow diver.”
Another seasoned unnamed diver said he was confounded by the mishap, because a diver should have been on watch for accidents during underwater photography sessions, in which breathing apparatus is often removed, and that shoots are usually conducted in shallow waters to take advantage of natural light.
Ku was married to a cousin of Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩). She is survived by her husband and a four-year-old daughter
Chiu yesterday expressed grief at Ku’s passing on Facebook, saying: “Your life was cut too short at the age of 25, but you will always be in the hearts of our big family.”
Publicists of Eelin Entertainment, Ku’s modeling agency, said the agency’s management and employees mourn Ku’s death and are helping the family in her funeral arrangements, and that the group will not make further comments out of respect for her family’s wishes for privacy.
The agency added that the photo shoot was not work-related.
Additional reporting by Su Fu-nan
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her