Boatman dies in collision at sea

Boatman dies in collision at sea
TRAGIC: A view of some boats off the Vopak Penjuru terminal.

SINGAPORE - After ferrying workers to the ships at sea, a boatman was returning to Vopak Penjuru Terminal when his supply vessel collided with a chemical tanker berthed there.

The collision on Monday morning at the berth near West Coast Ferry Road caused Mr Yen Kwek Shun, 59, to injure his head, rendering him unconscious.

He was taken to National University Hospital, where he died from his injuries on the same day.

An unnamed colleague of Mr Yen told Shin Min Daily News that Mr Yen had worked for his ferry company for at least 10 years. Other than ferrying workers, he would also transport goods at ports in the west and south.

Mr Yen's boat was able to ferry 12 workers at a time and an assistant would be on board during each trip. "I heard that he was the only one who died on the boat... I don't think we will ever know what exactly happened out at sea that morning," said the colleague. He remembers Mr Yen as a jovial, charitable man who treated his friends like family.


He recalled: "I once had something urgent happening at home and without any hesitation, Mr Yen offered to help me complete my day's work after he was done with his own. I was very touched," he said.

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Mr Yen founded a launch services company in 1984 and was director of a boats charter and rental company between 1997 and 1999.

A Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) spokesman said it was informed about the incident at around 9am. It despatched a patrol craft and the port inspector on board found Mr Yen unconscious and rendered first aid. The Police Coast Guard (PCG) was also alerted and Mr Yen was sent to hospital.

The chemical tanker was not damaged. PCG is investigating the unnatural death and MPA is investigating the incident.

- Additional reporting by Matthaeus Choo

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