36-year-old man arrested after driving car into sea in Sentosa Cove

The police said they were informed at 2.08pm of a traffic accident involving a car and a Sentosa ranger in Sentosa. The driver and the ranger were both taken to Singapore General Hospital.
The police said they were informed at 2.08pm of a traffic accident involving a car and a Sentosa ranger in Sentosa. The driver and the ranger were both taken to Singapore General Hospital. PHOTO: STOMP
A man who was on another nearby yacht jumped into the sea and rescued the driver of the car.
A man who was on another nearby yacht jumped into the sea and rescued the driver of the car.SCREENGRAB: LEI ZHIPING

SINGAPORE - A 36-year-old man who drove his car into the sea in Sentosa Cove on Friday (Aug 25) was taken to hospital, along with a Sentosa ranger who was involved in a traffic accident with him.

The man was later arrested for criminal trespass and a rash act causing hurt, police said.

Mr Ang Chee Boon, 56, told The Straits Times that he was on a boat with his skipper when they heard a siren and saw the accident.

"Suddenly, we heard a very loud noise and we saw the car going through the barriers," said Mr Ang, who runs a boat chartering company.

"It just went through and the car was in the sea. The man didn't even try to escape," he added.

He said he saw two rangers on motorcycles pursuing the white Toyota car.

The police said in a statement that they were informed at 2.08pm of a traffic accident involving a car and a Sentosa ranger in Sentosa.

The driver was rescued from the car and was conscious when he was taken to Singapore General Hospital. The Sentosa ranger, who suffered minor injuries, was also taken to SGH, the police said.

Mr Ang said a man who was on another nearby yacht jumped into the sea and rescued the man.

"When we saw the car start to sink, we prepared our diving gear," he said. "But the man was very fast, he was very good."

The man, David Roberts, 36, said he was on the other side of the marina from where Mr Ang and his skipper were.

"I saw the motorbikes racing by with their sirens," said the superyacht captain. "I looked to see what was going on and saw the car floating in the water."

Mr Roberts then stripped down and swam across to where the car was.


Superyacht captain David Roberts rescued the driver from his sinking vehicle. PHOTO: COURTESY OF DAVID ROBERTS

"By then, the car had already sunk to the bottom," he said. "I tried to open the doors but I couldn't, so I asked the security guys to give me a rock or something to break one of the windows."

Eventually, he managed to reach in through a small opening in one of the windows and unbuckle the man's seat belt, but could not pull him out.

One of the men loosened a stone from the ground and passed it to him. Mr Roberts then broke one of the windows and rescued the man in “a couple of minutes”. 

He gave the man oxygen, which he got from one of the boats nearby. 

The man was conscious when he first got out of the water, but began slipping in and out of consciousness, Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts, who has been in Singapore with his yacht since March this year, is from South Africa, where he has been involved in rescue operations.

A spokesman for Sentosa Development Corporation told The Straits Times that Sentosa rangers attended to the incident about 2pm.

"The Singapore Police Force, Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force were immediately activated, and the driver has been rescued," said the spokesman. 

SCDF said officers from its Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) were alerted to the incident and conducted a dive search. No one else was found in the submerged car.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing.