Search continues for S'porean student who was swept off rock in Western Australia

Goh Heng Yi was washed off the rocks at the Injidup Nature Spa.
PHOTO: Google Maps

A Singaporean has been missing in Australia since Monday after he was swept away while taking photos of waves along the shore.

Mr Goh Heng Yi, 23, who is studying for a Master of Economics at the University of Western Australia, was last seen on a rock at the Injidup Natural Spa, near Yallingup, Western Australia.

Australian media reported that he was with five other international students at the time.

After the first wave hit, Mr Goh was able to scramble up a nearby rock but was hit by a second large wave and vanished, reported ABC News.

Search operations began on Monday evening but have been suspended multiple times due to the hazardous conditions.

The south-west coastline is known for its treacherous waves, and the surf was described by the Australian police as being around 6m high when Mr Goh was swept away.

Sergeant Jane Gillham of the Dunsborough Police Station told The New Paper that around 40 personnel and volunteers are involved in the search, which had to be suspended as night fell yesterday.

The search is expected to continue today using police drones.

"We found his slippers but no other items at this stage," she said.

Sgt Gillham added that she was unable to say when the search would be called off as such decisions were made on a daily basis.

A spokesman for the university said it was "extremely concerned" for Mr Goh, who was holidaying in the South West region.

She added that Mr Goh was also a university hall resident.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time," she said.

"The university is offering every assistance to his family and is providing counselling and support to his friends and staff during this difficult time."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) here said it was aware of the incident and is trying to help Mr Goh's family fly to Australia, whose borders are expected to be closed till next year.

"We are providing support and rendering consular assistance to the family in Singapore, including seeking the assistance of the Australian government for exemption for the family on compassionate grounds to be able to travel to Perth notwithstanding the current border entry restrictions due to Covid-19," she said.

"The Singapore High Commission in Canberra is also liaising closely with the Australian authorities on the search and rescue efforts for the Singaporean. We will continue to provide appropriate support to the family during this period."

This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.