3 suspected drownings in 2 days

1 SIM student still missing at sea

He was perched on a board about 2.5 metres long, with only a paddle, off Changi on Sunday.

On Monday, at about 2.15pm, only the board and the paddle were found by rescue boats about 500m offshore from the National Service Resort & Country Club (NSRCC).

Undergraduate Goh Chuan Kiet, 23, remained missing despite search-and-rescue operations - first by sailors from the Constant Wind Sailing School and Sea Sports Centre, followed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Mr Goh had set out on Sunday afternoon with members of the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Windsurfing Club, said an SIM Global Education spokesman.

The business degree student with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology at SIM, is understood to be a stand up paddleboarding enthusiast.

Mr Ho Kah Soon, director of Constant Wind, said he was alerted to the incident by a fisherman at about 2pm on Sunday.

Mr Ho, who was among Singapore's top boardsailors in the 80s, said: "While a boat was fetching the group out at sea, a fisherman came to the centre and told us something had happened, but he couldn't describe what exactly happened.

"We noticed a small storm around the area, but we were not sure if it was near where the group had been. We immediately sent five rescue boats."

Mr Ho estimated that the group of 15 students were at least 500m from the shore.

Said Mr Ho: "We contacted the coast guard after failing to find the missing student."

The MPA has been coordinating the search-and-rescue efforts since 2pm on Sunday.

Mr Goh's family kept vigil on Sunday night before returning home Monday morning.

The SIM spokesman said Mr Goh was not on training on Sunday and the outing was arranged by the students themselves. Their equipment were not borrowed from the sea sports centre.

SEARCH CONTINUES

As of 6pm Monday, search and rescue was still ongoing.

Seven boats from the MPA, Police Coast Guard, Singapore Salvage Engineers, NSRCC and the Singapore Sailing Federation were involved. Commercial divers have also been activated.

MPA expanded the search to cover the area between Changi Naval Base and Bedok Jetty.

A Singapore Polytechnic (SP) spokesman said two students from the SP Sailing club were at East Coast Park for training when Mr Ho approached them for help with the search and rescue. They searched from 2pm to 7pm on Sunday.

Monday, five SP students joined the search, combing the area on powerboats.

2 Man jumps in, disappears

Children were building sandcastles and playing in the water on the beach at East Coast Park, near a Burger King restaurant.

A few metres away, there were Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and police officers in an area that had been cordoned off.

They were looking for a Vietnamese man, 23, who went missing in the water around noon Monday.

His friend, who did not want to be named, said they had gone to the beach with a few friends. The man jumped into the water from the breakwater.

He said the man was swimming alone when they lost sight of him.

The friend, who was clearly upset, declined to elaborate.

The SCDF, which was alerted to the incident at 12.20pm, conducted a surface search.

Two fire bikes, a red rhino, a fire engine and a Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) amphibious vehicle were sent out for the rescue.

SCDF stopped their search at 4.25pm when they failed to find the body.

A police spokesman said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is assisting with the search.

3 Naked body found floating at sea

The body of a child was found floating in the sea some 300m from Bedok Jetty around 9pm Monday.

Boat driver Abdul Mutalib, 50, called The New Paper about the discovery.

He was ferrying four passengers on his 12-passenger boat from Changi Pier to Marina South when one of his passengers saw something floating in the water.

"When we drove the boat closer, we realised it was the naked body of a boy," said Mr Abdul, who estimated him to be about four or five years old.

"One of my passengers wanted to take the body out of the water, but I refused, as the boy was already dead and I didn't want to mess with the evidence."

He alerted the authorities and followed the floating body with his boat to keep it in sight.

The police arrived about 20 minutes later.

Mr Abdul then continued his journey to Marina South Pier.

"My passengers were shocked. It was the first time they had come across anything like this," he said.

When a TNP team went to the Bedok Jetty last night, the police cordon had been removed.

A small crowd that had gathered earlier was starting to disperse.

One bystander, sales representative Ng Choo Kee, 45, said: "I heard someone say that someone else had collapsed and died. I didn't know it was something else."

The police confirmed that they received a call 9.22pm informing them of a body found near Bedok Jetty. Investigations are ongoing.


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