Adventure tour guide drowns after saving Singapore client's life

PETALING JAYA - An adventure tour guide drowned at a popular waterfall area after diving in to rescue one of his clients.

Kevin Tan Wee Chew, 42, had taken a group of 10 Singaporeans to the Perting Pandak Waterfalls near Bentong for a day trip on Saturday.

He brought one group to a waterfall at an upstream pool while his colleague attended to another group at a lower pool.

While they were having fun in the water, one of the tourists encountered difficulties and Tan dove in to save the man.

He managed to push the struggling man on the rocks beside the waterfalls but Tan himself disappeared underwater not long after.

After being alerted by someone from the group, Tan's colleague rushed to where he was last seen and found him underwater after a five-minute search.

While his colleague performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Tan, someone made an emergency call.

A team from the Bentong Fire and Rescue Department rushed to the scene but the evacuation team only arrived after three hours due to the rough terrain leading to the spot.

Bentong district police chief Supt Mohamad Mansor Mohd Nor said Tan was rushed to the Bentong Hospital where a doctor pronounced him dead.

Tan leaves behind his wife Adele Cheah, four-year-old daughter Zoe and 10-month-old son Lucas.

His company's Facebook page was filled with messages from past clients conveying their condolences and posting tributes to Tan.

Chan Yuen-Li said Tan was an outdoor professional - "strong, safe, skilled, caring and with a huge heart and passion for what he did".

"He is definitely one of the most skilled swift water rescuers that I have had the honour of training with. I am simply humbled by his heroism," she said.

Richard Turner said Tan was an "amazing, inspirational guy" who brought his joy of the outdoors to so many.

"He is a true hero who saved the life of another without any second thought for himself," said Turner in his post.