Twenty eight storeys above ground, crane operator Azman Mohammed Fadil noticed something amiss from his cabin on Tuesday morning.
Looking across at the adjacent Seahill condominium construction site, he saw that a man had perched himself atop the counterweights on a 10-storey tall crane.
"He had no safety harness and helmet on," Mr Azman said.
The man was gesturing that he wanted to jump off the crane. It turns out the man was a worker at the condominium construction site opposite West Coast Park.
Mr Azman, 36, said that he saw two men dressed in white, believed to be foremen, climbing up the crane and speaking to the worker at about 8am.
Food and water were even passed to him via cables to persuade him to come down. But he refused to budge. The foremen came down.
"The worker paced up and down the crane, and talked on his handphone from time to time, most likely to negotiate with company staff members on the ground," said Mr Azman.
It also resulted in a lengthly standoff with the man's employers, the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers.
The police and SCDF officers arrived with police support vehicles, an ambulance, one fire engine, two Red Rhinos and two fire bikes.
COAXED TO SAFETY
After nearly 3 hours, a team comprising personnel from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), SCDF and employer China Construction (South Pacific) Development, finally coaxed the worker to safety.
They sent a foreman up the crane to convince the man to come down, which he did at 11.20am.
Police identified him as a 34-year-old Chinese foreign worker.
The man did not suffer any injuries and was arrested for criminal trespassing. Investigations by the police and MOM are still ongoing.
It remains unclear why the man threatened to jump off the crane, but it is understood that the act was not a protest against working conditions, but had to do with his personal issues.