Search for missing Singapore diver continues

Ms Rinta Paul Mukkam's brother Roy Paul Mukkam posted this picture on his Facebook page on Thursday (July 13) evening, asking for help and information.

INDONESIA - More than $50,000 has been raised as of 10pm Saturday (July 15) to support efforts to find a Singaporean who went missing in Indonesian waters on Thursday (July 13).

Ms Rinta Paul Mukkam, a 40-year-old associate regional sales manager, failed to surface on Thursday (July 13) during a diving trip off Komodo Island.

Ms Mukkam - who left Singapore on Wednesday (July 12) and was due to return home on Monday (July 17) - had been part of a group of 16 women who were diving in the area.

She was only discovered missing after the group completed the dive and were boarding the boat.

A fundraising effort on crowdfunding site GoGetFunding - started by family friend Srinesh Balakrishnan, a 37-year-old doctor - hopes to raise $250,000 towards "further air and sea search efforts".

Ms Mukkam's brother, 36-year-old lawyer Roy Paul Mukkam, arrived in the area on Friday (July 15) to assist in the search for his sister and rented a helicopter to conduct search efforts from the air.

A helicopter costs about US$60,000 ($82,000) per day to rent.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta has been "in close contact with the local authorities".

These include Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), which has mounted search and rescue operations since Thursday (July 13).

Basarnas told The Straits Times on Friday (July 14) that boat operators and Komodo-based dive centres were also helping out in the search operation.

The MFA spokesman said the embassy has also sent a consular officer to the location.

"MFA and the Embassy will continue to provide the necessary consular assistance to the next-of-kin of the missing Singaporean," he said.

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