A group of JurongVille Secondary School students’ post-exam celebratory swim at East Coast Park turned to tragedy when one of them drowned today, off the waters near the Xtreme Skatepark and East Coast Lagoon Food Village. The death could have been higher if not for the quick thinking action of Silvia Hajas, a 47-year-old housewife.
Silvia, the mother of an eight-year-old girl said that the boys were about 50 metres from the shore when she heard the their cries for help. Without hesitation, she rushed into the water and pulled two boys out, while three others managed to swim back to shore. Another boy was rescued by a man using a lifebuoy. But one boy disappeared by the time all the others were rescued.
Speaking to The New Paper, Silvia said “that sea is very harsh and deep. My feet couldn’t touch the ground.” She was playing with her daughter on a nearby sand dune when she noticed the boys who were in trouble. A Google search shows that Silvia is an Australian and has been living in Singapore since 2003.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) posted in their Facebook that the body of the 12-year-old boy who disappeared was found at about 3.30pm, and that he was pronounced dead at the scene. SCDF was first alerted to the incident at 12.25pm today.
The school said that it is deeply saddened by the passing of one of its students, and that school leaders, staff and counsellors were providing emotional support and assistance to the family, as well as affected students and staff. Police are investigating the unnatural incident.