Body of diver who went missing near Sentosa on Saturday found

Singaporean Jake Seet Choon Heng had been conducting underwater operations when he went missing on May 5, 2018. PHOTOS: ST FILE, LINKEDIN/JAKE SEET

SINGAPORE - The body of a man was found floating in the sea off Sentosa on Monday night (May 7), two days after he was reported missing in that area.

The police told The Straits Times that they were alerted to the finding at 6.36pm on Monday.

"The body is that of a 33-year-old man who was reported missing on May 5," said the police spokesman.

The missing man was Singaporean Jake Seet Choon Heng, who is believed to have had more than 10 years of diving experience.

He had been conducting underwater operations for the vessel Jork at the Western Anchorage when he went missing.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was alerted of his disappearance at 2.43pm on Saturday.

It deployed two MPA and two Police Coast Guard patrol craft to conduct search and rescue operations, which were aided by dive boats and divers from a commercial diving company.

The commercial diver leaves behind two sons aged three and six and a pregnant wife.

Police are investigating the unnatural death.

Speaking to the media on Monday before his body had been found, Mr Seet's older sister, Ms Jacqueline Seet, said: "We are very sad of course, especially his wife. Every minute seems like ages.

"As of this point in time, we do not know what exactly had happened, how it happened, what steps and measures would be taken moving forward, and Jake's employer's protocol for handling such situations.

"We are extremely distressed by the limited information and answers made available to us."

The 37-year-old, who manages a food and beverage outlet, said her sister-in-law had found out her husband was missing when a friend working in the same industry called her on Saturday at about 6pm.

"Neither the authorities nor Jake's employer called us to inform us about the incident," she said, adding that the family was then told by his employer and colleagues to wait for updates.

Industry veteran Abdul Malik, chairman of Commercial Diving Association (Singapore), told The Straits Times that Mr Seet was one of some 200 commercial divers here and had been in the industry for some time.

"Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world, and a very large number of sea-going vessels will drop anchor at any one of the anchorages for a variety of reasons," he said.

Commercial diving work includes inspection and repair of vessels and routine maintenance like cleaning hulls and propellers.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.