Child's body found off East Coast; Search for missing windsurfer continues

Search and rescue operations for Singaporean student Goh Chuan Kiet are still ongoing and will carry on into the third night since he disappeared at sea on Sunday. -- PHOTO: SIM
Search and rescue operations for Singaporean student Goh Chuan Kiet are still ongoing and will carry on into the third night since he disappeared at sea on Sunday. -- PHOTO: SIM
Search operations continued yesterday at East Coast Park (left) for the missing Vietnamese man and Mr Goh (above).
Search operations continued yesterday at East Coast Park (left) for the missing Vietnamese man and Mr Goh (above).PHOTOS: ASHLEIGH SIM, GOH CHUAN KIET'S FACEBOOK PAGE

The body of a young child was found floating in the waters off the beach at East Coast Park last night, while a Vietnamese man who had gone swimming in the same area was reported missing yesterday afternoon.

The discovery of the body came even as search efforts continued for a windsurfer who had gone missing the day before.

Police said they received a call at 9.22pm about a body found in the sea near Bedok Jetty, in a third mishap in two days off Singapore's eastern coast.

Earlier at about noon, they also received a call about a 23-year-old Vietnamese who was reported missing by his friends after he went swimming off East Coast Park. They then launched a search, along with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Two friends of the unnamed man who were with him at the park before he disappeared told The Straits Times that he had wanted to take a swim by himself near the rocks - an area marked as a no-swimming zone.

All three are Vietnamese and 23 years old.

"We left him to swim on his own, and I saw him go out, but then lost sight of him, so I called the police," said one, who identified himself only as Jupiter. He said he was an international business student at the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

Meanwhile, search efforts continued last night for Singaporean student Goh Chuan Kiet, 23, who went missing off Changi on Sunday.

The undergraduate at SIM Global Education disappeared after he went paddle-boarding with schoolmates from his university's windsurfing club.

Mr Goh had passed his Level One windsurfing certification last week, along with some other beginners in the club.

On Sunday, they set off from the National Service Resort and Country Club (NSRCC) Sea Sports Centre around noon. Thundery showers hit the area soon after, with winds gusting up to 22 to 25 knots along the coast.

Mr Goh was reported missing at around 2pm, prompting a search by the MPA. He was last seen paddling at sea while standing up.

The board and paddle were retrieved by rescuers and fishermen on Sunday afternoon, but there was still no sign of Mr Goh as of last night.

By then, the rescue effort had intensified and included personnel from the MPA, Police Coast Guard, the NSRCC and commercial divers.

The search area was also expanded to cover the coast between Changi Naval Base and Bedok Jetty.

hpeishan@sph.com.sg

yanliang@sph.com.sg