Singapore — A man who had celebrated his 53rd birthday recently drowned off East Coast Park on Sunday (Oct 11).
The man, along with his elder brother and the latter’s family, were on a picnic at the park, according to the Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.
The full name of the victim has not been disclosed, although Lianhe Wanbao reports his name as Osman and his brother’s name as Wahid.
The outing took a dark turn when soon after the picnic had been set up, the man was nowhere to be found.
The family became alarmed when someone who had seen the man earlier told them that he had not surfaced from the water in 15 minutes.
After searching for him proved difficult due to rough water conditions, the family called the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for help at around 2.15 in the afternoon.
The SCDF deployed three teams to look for the missing man: Divers from the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team to search underwater, marine firefighters on board a Rapid Response Fire Vessel to reach the waters in the area and firefighters to carry out a visual search from the shore.
After three-and-a-half hours, as night approached, the search was stopped as a safety precaution.
The teams intended to resume the search at first light the next morning but the man’s body was found floating in the water at 7.14 that night, said the SCDF.
He was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.
His brother was quoted by Lianhe Wanbao as saying: “Osman lives with me. He is usually cheerful and friendly and loved by the whole family. He just celebrated his birthday last month. Two months ago, he was expecting that after the epidemic was over, we could go to Malaysia together. No one expected an accident.” /TISG