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Family's first boat - man dies on their first trip
Chong Chee Kin & Teh Joo Lin
Sat, May 24, 2008
The Straits Times

IT WAS the family's first boat and an investment - the plan was to rent it out to fishing enthusiasts here and in Malaysia.

But the first order of business for the excited family a few hours after they took over the $45,000 fibreglass cabin cruiser was to take it out for a spin.

A dozen people - the maximum capacity of the Proteus OMS - got on board and the family set off from Loyang at about 3pm on Thursday. They made a loop round Kusu Island and headed back to the mainland.

The boat started taking in water four nautical miles from the shore and sank within minutes, leaving its 12 life-jacketed occupants, including three children, in the water.

The family was to emerge from the harrowing experience one short - Mr Amin Ahmad, 57, who had a heart condition, died following his rescue.

A close family friend told The Straits Times that the boat had been bought by the family with the intention of making some income from renting it out to fishing enthusiasts, and that Mr Amin was himself one.

The family had planned to take the boat out today and head for Sedili, a town on Johor's east coast, east of Kota Tinggi, where Mr Amin owned a holiday house.

It was also where Mr Amin and several members of the family went for frequent fishing trips during school or public holidays.

About 100 of Mr Amin's relatives and friends showed up at the family's Tampines home yesterday to pay their respects. Many were hesitant about talking to reporters, following the family's request for privacy.

Mr Amin, who was buried in Choa Chu Kang Cemetery yesterday, leaves behind his wife, four sons and grandchildren.

ESTHER TAN


 

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