'He had probably misjudged depth of water'
What happened to the undergraduate was a classic diving accident, doctors told The New Paper.
The student had dived into the sea while waistdeep in the water.
Associate Professor Joseph Thambiah, head of the musculoskeletal trauma division at National University Hospital, said he had probably misjudged the depth of the water.
"He could have hit his head on a rock or the sand, and since his head was bent forward, it would have put immense stress on the bones in his neck," he added.
"It would have sent a force through his head down to his spine.
The resulting impact most probably caused one of the seven bones in the neck to explode - known as a burst fracture. "A piece of that shattered bone must have then entered the spinal canal and hit the spinal cord, causing the paralysis."