2 Singaporean divers die at Tioman after air tanks run out

A diving trip to Pulau Tioman turned tragic last Saturday after the body of a 35-year-old Singaporean man had to be pulled out of the water by his own wife.

Their 48-year-old diving instructor, also a Singaporean, died as well.

Both men are believed to have run out of air in their diving tanks, reported Chinese daily Shin Min.

The couple, the instructor and another woman had reached Tioman, located off the east coast of Pahang, last Friday for a three-day trip.

The group went diving around 25m from the shore the following day at about 11am, with the instructor taking the women out first. After the women returned, he took the man out.

Eyewitnesses at a nearby resort then heard a call for help from one of the women.

One witness saw the man's wife dragging him onto the beach, reported Chinese daily Wanbao.

Other bystanders said the body looked bloated. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

The instructor, believed to have been based in Malaysia, was retrieved from the water shortly afterwards.

The victims were taken on a boat to a clinic at the nearest town centre some 10 minutes away, said Shin Min.

During preliminary investigations, the air tanks used by the two men were found to be empty, added the newspaper.

A Malaysian police officer handling the case said post-mortems on the two victims were completed yesterday morning. The police did not give their names.

Family members of the two men arrived at Kuantan Hospital early yesterday to collect the bodies.

Earlier this year, the body of Singapore Management University professor Winston Koh was recovered after he went missing during a scuba diving trip to Pulau Dayang, off Mersing in Johor.

maryamm@sph.com.sg