Family and friends gather to pray for missing Singaporean diver

People praying for Ms Rinta Mukkam, who disappeared during a dive on July 13, at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on July 27, 2017.
People praying for Ms Rinta Mukkam, who disappeared during a dive on July 13, at the Church of St Mary of the Angels on July 27, 2017. ST PHOTO

SINGAPORE - Cradling lit tealights in their hands, around 300 people gathered Thursday night at the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, to pray for the safe return of Singaporean diver Rinta Paul Mukkam who has been missing for two weeks.

Some were strangers who do not know her. Others were family and close friends. But all of them came together to sing hymns and pray at a mass held at the Catholic church in Bukit Batok.

Ms Rinta's siblings, Mr Roy Paul Mukkam, Ms Rubin Mukkam and Ms Renisha Mukkam were in attendance. Their parents were also present.

Ms Rinta, a 40-year-old associate regional sales manager, failed to surface on July 13 during a diving trip off Komodo Island. She had been part of a group of 16 women who were diving in the area.

Last Sunday (July 23), Indonesia's search and rescue agency (Basarnas) operational director Maj. Gen Heronimus Guru confirmed that official search operations had stopped after 10 days.

Mr Roy said: "There is nothing more we can really do now." He added that Basarnas has told him that they will continue to keep a look out for his sister.

On Monday (July 24), Ms Rubin told The Straits Times: "It is now time for us to step back and let God take the wheel," she added.

The Facebook event page for the mass, hosted by Ms Rubin, informed guests not to wear black but to "come in (their) most colourful spirits and outfits".

Mr Gabriel Danakody, a 76-year-old retired diver, found out about the mass through Facebook and decided to attend it to pray for the Mukkam family. "We hope that she'll be found so that it brings closure for the family," he said.