Korean tourist did not drown in Kawasan Falls — police

By: Paul Lauro and Gresheen Gift Libby - Paul Lauro and Gresheen Gift Libby | March 30,2019 - 08:14 AM

(Fourth update)

Kawasan Falls is a popular tourist destination in Barangay Matutinao, Badian. A Korean tourist met his untimely death on March 29, 2019 after he jumped into the water and experienced difficulty in breathing. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / Ador Hurtado

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Korean tourist, who died in Badian town on Friday, March 29, 2019, had lung problems, which made it difficult for him to breathe after he jumped into the water of Kawasan Falls.

Police Chief Master Sergeant Emmanuel Caballero, team leader of Badian Police Station, said Lee Jong Hyuk (not Lee Jong Hyue as earlier reported) had issues with his respiratory system, specifically his lungs, and underwent an operation when he was eight years old.

Lee, 31, is single and hailed from Seoul, South Korea. He was in Kawasan Falls for vacation and wanted to swim and experience canyoneering.

The information was provided by his companion, Kim Hong Ok.

Patrolwoman Odoname Saycon of Badian Police Station also clarified details surrounding Lee’s death.

Saycon said the tourist did not drown as earlier reported. Previous report said he fell the wrong way when he jumped into the water and drowned.

Witnesses saw Lee climbed on a ledge about 45-foot high and jumped into the water.

He was able to swim back to dry land. But Lee had difficulty in breathing when he got out of the water so he was rushed to the Badian District Hospital.

But he was already dead before he could reach the medical facility.

Kawasan Falls is a popular tourist destination in the southwestern Cebu town of Badian, which is located 104 kilometers from Cebu City.

Kawasan Falls is located in the upland village of Matutinao and is 16 kilometers from the town center.

Police are now coordinating with the South Korean Embassy in the Philippines for the repatriation arrangement of Lee’s body. / celr

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