‘I’m not scared of death’: inside Taiwan’s brutal navy frogman bootcamp – in pictures

The Guardian - Fri Jan 14 15:00

  • Trainees create a ‘sand storm’ as the morning training concludes

    Trainees create a ‘sand storm’ as the morning training concludes
  • Trainees navigate sewage-contaminated water. Over six days and five nights, the volunteers to enter the ARP have to endure everything from long marches to hours in the water, with constant screaming by their instructors

    Trainees navigate sewage contaminated water
  • Trainees sleep outside on a rough concrete floor. They may only end up with five minutes of sleep, huddled together on the floor under light green blankets, awoken with shrill whistle blasts

    Trainees sleep outside on a rough concrete floor
  • Trainees eat spiced garlic with their meal. Every six hours they have a one-hour break. In that time they have to eat – scarfing down bulbs of garlic to boost their immune systems

    Trainees eat spiced garlic with their meal
  • A trainer shouts at a trainee who cannot keep up with the exercises. ‘Are you a sleeping beauty? Are you skipping out on class?’ a trainer shouts at the wiry men, who have barely slept in days

    A trainer shouts at a trainee who cannot keep up with the exercises
  • A trainee dressed in camouflage wades through sewage-contaminated water

    A trainee dressed in camouflage wades through sewage-contaminated water
  • Ou Zhi-Xuan, 25, cries in pain as a fellow trainee helps him stretch

    Ou Zhi-Xuan, 25, cries in pain as a fellow trainee helps him stretch
  • Ma Shuo-Fu, a trainee, is encouraged to stay on the program by his fellow trainees

    Ma Shuo-Fu, a trainee, is encouraged to stay on the program by his fellow trainees
  • Trainees do push-ups during a smoke bomb simulation

    Trainees do push-ups during a smoke bomb simulation
  • Trainees are sprayed with water to keep them awake

    Trainees are sprayed with water to keep them awake
  • Wu Yu-wei, 26, cries as two fellow trainees leave the program. He says he considers it a ‘personal challenge’ to complete the course

    Wu Yu-wei, 26, cries as two fellow trainees leave the program
  • Liu Zi-Xian, 25, has his blood pressure measured in an ambulance after falling ill

    Liu Zi-Xian, 25, has his blood pressure measured in an ambulance after falling ill
  • Xie Bo-Jun embraces his father after passing the course. Once across the ‘road to heaven’ finish line, and congratulated by Marine Corps commander Wang Jui-lin, the stress of the past week is too much for some of the marines, who burst into tears in the arms of proud family members invited to see them graduate

    Xie Bo-Jun embraces his father after passing the course