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Swimming classes were suspended

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Thank you for Saipan Tribune’s diligent coverage of the drowning incident that occurred last week

But yesterday, your reporter, Justine Nauta, noted that the swimming instructor did not show up and so the swimmers were left to fend for themselves.

FYI, all swimming and sailing activities were suspended due to the spread of COVID-19 infections on island last March 12. Therefore there were no swim instructions as of the date of the accident. I am a member and we all swim in full acknowledgement of the dangers the ocean can pose.

Emma and Pete Perez have been dedicated instructors of these classes and have been doing so on a voluntary basis with no pay for as long as the Dolphin Swim Club has existed. The article lends itself to blame these praiseworthy individuals for putting the swimmers in jeopardy in some way. They are in no way to blame and have only been diligent in instructing any individuals interested in swimming about what to do in the water. They instruct us on proper breathing techniques and the words that always encourage me are “relax” and “slow down.” 

The victim of the drowning incident was my friend. She has not been swimming for long but she was proficient and one of the more advanced swimmers on the team. The tide was high and her health was not as good as she recently had suffered from shingles and has not fully recovered. I thought an obituary piece about her life may be appropriate. She is a minister’s wife, member of the Korean bowling, badminton associations as well as the Dolphin Swim Team. I have only known her through swimming but she has always shown a sense of bravery, a will to push herself to the challenge as well as discipline and kindness.

She leaves behind two sons (the older one flew in this Monday) and a daughter (flying in from China this Thursday). Her name was Jang Jung-Ran and she told me during one of our swims together that her life goal has been to become fluent in Chinese and to swim. I would say she has achieved success in both measures. She was an inspiration as she lived a life serving others, whether it was through her church (it’s the pink one on Beach Road at the beginning of San Antonio past Victory Chapel) or in any of the groups that enjoyed her presence. 

The funeral services are from this Monday to Wednesday (6pm-10pm) at the Korean Association of Saipan. She is scheduled to be cremated later this week. Different pastors from different Korean churches on Saipan are offering prayer and services each day. 

Kuen-Hee Han
Tour Guide Certification Manager
Marianas Visitors Authority

Contributing Author
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