Reports are surfacing that a Taiwanese model has died during an underwater photo shoot.
Olivia Ku, 25, drowned during the shoot after what is being described as an asthma attack occurred nearly 20 feet underwater, according to the Central European News (CEN). The exact cause of death remains unclear, but there is believed to be an element of human error in play, as well.
According to CEN and other sources familiar with the incident, the model was asked to remove her regulator at depth, continuing the shoot with a breath hold. It is not unusual for a model to take a few breaths from scuba gear before returning to breath-hold for the shoot.
What is strange is that during this the model was asked to change costumes, according to Taiwan’s Apple Daily. This stress and unnecessary movement could have contributed to the accident.
Also strange is that there were no safety divers present—a must for any shoot of this type, but especially a professional one. Ku’s agency, Eelin Entertainment, claims this was not work related, but rather a personal project for the 25-year-old.
Other significant details include the fact that Ku may have declared she was asthmatic prior to the dive, according to Asia One. Ku’s family said that the young model was also suffering from the flu at the time: Diving with a cold, particularly one with a lung infection, can be extremely dangerous.
Ku was considered to be an amateur diver with at least three years of experience. She participated in reef clean ups. The investigation into her death is still ongoing.
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