Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Drowning

I often hack on the China Post for its completely unreliable political reporting, but once they get outside of politics they do a great job on local stuff. The other day the China Post published a list of dangerous seashores in Taiwan.

Paishawan beach on the northern coast of Taipei County was listed as one of the ten most dangerous seashores in Taiwan by the Coast Guard Administration (CGA).

Other locations on the CGA list of places where people should take precaution when escaping the summer heat include Peace Island off Keelung, Santiao Cape on the northeast coast scenic area in Taipei County, and Chishintan in Hualien County.

Kenting National Park also made the list, with CGA listing an area near the Chuanfanshi rock as a dangerous seashore, while Anping Harbor in Tainan and Chichin in Kaohsiung are some of the prominent scenic spots on the list.


I constantly tell my own students that they have to learn to swim. Swimming, I tell them, should be viewed as a necessary skill, not a leisure activity. I read several years ago that drowning is the number 2 cause of death among Taiwanese students abroad, while at home, 411 people drowned last year on Taiwan. Many of those people might have survived with a little swimming ability.

The paper also reported:

Officials are warning people to take heed of warning signs along the coast or rivers and lakes in the inland area in pursuing swimming or other water activities during the summer.

Yesterday, a high school student drowned near a waterfall in the Taiping scenic area in Taichung County after jumping from a 10-meter high cliff.

Police had to maneuver through steep cliffs along a river to recover the body of the student

My friend Jason, on a visit from the US, and Andrew Kerslake (more on them later) were out at the waterfall yesterday and sent me these pictures:


Here Andrew looks down over the falls. Meanwhile the two of them stumbled upon a disturbing sight:


A hastily abandoned picnic site, with food still sitting halfway done on the BBQ. This appears to be the picnic of the drowning victim. Note the beer cans. Alcohol and water do not mix.

3 comments:

Maoman said...

What really sucks is when the Coast Guard decides that it's not safe for you to go into the water, even though you're only in waist deep. Explaining that you can swim, one gets the response "But Taiwanese people will see you in the water and think it's safe. But if they can't swim, they'll drown." Aargh!

davechen said...

I never understood why so many Taiwanese people (as far as I know), can't swim. None of my parents or aunts and uncles can swim, nor can my wife. It's a freaking island, surrounded by water. How can you not swim?

Dale Nolan Jr. said...

Haha, I've gotten this same response, the coast guard was like, "I know your a good swimmer but we have to keep assisting Taiwanese because they see you and keep swimming out to far then need help."