3rd drowning at Lau Lau Bay

Tourist is 6th drowning victim on Saipan this year

One of four diving students accompanied by an instructor reportedly panicked and drowned at Lau Lau Bay Dive Spot last Saturday afternoon.

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jacqueline Rae said yesterday that the victim, a 56-year-old Chinese male tourist, was pronounced dead by hospital personnel at the Commonwealth Health Center’s emergency room.

The tourist is the third drowning victim at Lau Lau Bay and the sixth on Saipan this year. Two other tourists had been swept by waves and could not be located.

Rae said DPS dispatch received a call about a drowning incident at Lau Lau Beach Dive Spot Saturday at 2:13pm.

Police officers responded and upon arrival at the beach, they observed a man performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the unresponsive victim.

Rae said investigation showed that at 1pm that day, a dive instructor from Dive Wish arrived at the beach with four students, including the victim.

At 1:40pm, the group began with their dive. While returning to the surface, the victim reportedly panicked and removed his regulator from his mouth.

The instructor placed the regulator back in the victim’s mouth and instructed him to breathe slowly and calm down.

While trying to regulate the victim’s breathing, the instructor slowly returned to the surface with him.

Once at the surface, the victim removed his regulator and was breathing heavily. He suddenly vomited.

At that time, the victim’s body became stiff, his lips turned blue, prompting the instructor to apply CPR.

The instructor continued the CPR until Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services emergency medical technicians arrived at the scene. Medics transported the victim to CHC’s emergency room, where he was pronounced dead.

Last June 26, a 69-year-old Chinese woman reportedly drowned while swimming on Managaha Island.

Last May 6, a 62-year-old Chinese woman reportedly drowned at the Grotto Dive Site in Marpi when she slipped on a rock and fell into the water while about to scuba dive along with seven other divers and an instructor.

Last April 17, a 53-year-old Japanese male reportedly drowned while diving at Lau Lau Bay.

Last March 9, Tian Tao, a 32-year-old Chinese male tourist drowned while swimming also at Lau Lau Bay.

Last Feb. 23, a 25-year-old Korean male tourist who was swimming with three companions was swept by a wave at Forbidden Island in Kagman. Search and rescue teams backed up by a Navy helicopter failed to locate the body.

Last Jan. 13, a Korean tourist drowned while her husband was swept by waves and could not be found at Forbidden Island.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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