Langkawi—A Genting Dream cruise turned into a parent’s worst nightmare when a ten-year-old boy died on the afternoon of November 18, Monday, in the swimming pool of a cruise ship that was docked in Langkawi.
The ship, which had 3,000 passengers, was scheduled to leave for Phuket, Thailand, later that night for a three-night cruise.
According to Langkawi district police chief Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim, the boy, Alan Heng Kai Lun, had been on the Genting Dream cruise with his mother and a friend.
In a statement, Mr Mohd Iqbal said, “Padang Matsirat Police Station received an emergency call about 7:30 pm regarding a drowning incident involving a child in the swimming pool of the cruise ship. Initial investigation found the victim was believed to have drowned.
“A pool attendant and many other visitors were bathing in the pool but failed to rescue the victim. Police have recorded statements of witnesses and pool attendants to facilitate the investigation,” he said in a statement.”
The following day, November 19, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) was told by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) that the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur had been told of the boy’s death.
The MFA said,” We express our deepest sympathy to the family.
“We are in contact with the family, and will continue to provide the necessary consular assistance.”
The boy’s body had been sent to the Sultanah Maliha Langkawi Hospital, according to Mr Mohd Iqbal.
Dream Cruises told CNA that the vessel left Singapore on Sunday, and the company offered its sympathies to the boy’s family. The medical team on the ship, according to the firm, had given the boy medical assistance, which included cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The company added that it is cooperating with authorities with regard to the incident.
“Dream Cruises is saddened to confirm that the boy has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased and we offer our sincerest condolences.
Dream Cruises is cooperating with the relevant authorities on the reported incident and providing all the necessary assistance to the family members in this time of difficulty.”
This is the second incident involving a Genting Dream cruise ship in the past few months, as an elderly man went missing aboard one of the company’s cruise ships in early August.
Goh Hai Peng, a 74-year-old retiree, boarded the Genting Dream on August 4. The cruise, which lasted four days and three nights, stopped at Penang on August 5 and Langkawi the following day.
The ship’s operator, Dream Cruises, confirmed that Mr Goh is missing.
The New Paper (TNP) reported that when passengers left the boat on August 7, the crew noticed that Mr Goh was not there. The retired electrician had, in fact, not been seen since he boarded the boat on the first day of the cruise. All of his personal items were found in his cabin and have been returned to his family.
Video footage from surveillance cameras on board the Genting Dream showed Mr Goh going into his cabin at around 7:00 in the evening of August 4. There is no other sighting of Mr Goh on the ship’s videos, and no video evidence that he even left his cabin, which opens onto a balcony.
Adrian Goh, the missing man’s son, said that the cameras had caught on video an image of a whitish figure falling into the sea at 3:00 am on August 5. -/TISG