Body of Singapore kayaker brought home for funeral

A Malaysian maritime officer, Deputy Lieutenant Eddieson Efendi Ussim, briefing the family of missing Singaporean kayaker Tan Eng Soon on Thursday about the search and rescue operations. Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62, has not been found. He and Madam Puah Geok
A Malaysian maritime officer, Deputy Lieutenant Eddieson Efendi Ussim, briefing the family of missing Singaporean kayaker Tan Eng Soon on Thursday about the search and rescue operations. PHOTO: BERNAMA
A Malaysian maritime officer, Deputy Lieutenant Eddieson Efendi Ussim, briefing the family of missing Singaporean kayaker Tan Eng Soon on Thursday about the search and rescue operations. Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62, has not been found. He and Madam Puah Geok
Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62, has not been found. He and Madam Puah Geok Tin went missing last week while kayaking.

Newspaper reports sighting of 2nd body; search area narrowed

The body of Singaporean kayaker Josephine Puah Geok Tin, 57, was transported by undertakers back to Singapore yesterday, accompanied by her son Louis Pang and five relatives.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities continued to comb the waters between Kuantan in Pahang and Kerteh in Terengganu for Mr Tan Eng Soon, 62.

The two had gone missing while kayaking in Endau waters near Mersing on Aug 8.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement in Malay yesterday afternoon: "Following the discovery of a body in the waters of Kuala Kemaman on Wednesday, the Kuantan Maritime Rescue Sub Centre has been placed in charge of the search and a Forward Operating Base was established at the Kemaman Maritime Zone office yesterday."

It added that four boats were involved in the search and rescue operation, spanning 265 sq nautical miles between Kuantan and Kerteh.

"The victim's family members and Singapore consulate personnel are also at the jetty at the Kemaman Maritime Zone to keep abreast of the latest developments," it said.

Malaysian newspaper The Star reported later in the evening that local authorities had narrowed their search to Terengganu waters between Kemaman and Merchang, after the reported sighting of a body in Dungun waters.

The body was seen on Thursday about 40 nautical miles, or about 75km, from the search area. Kemaman Maritime Zone director Maritime Commander Rashidilhadi Abd Rashid said that according to a local fishermen's WhatsApp group, the body was clad in a life jacket.

According to Chinese-language evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, Mr Tan's son Jeremy, 23, said he hoped that his father could be found soon.

 
 
 
 

On Wednesday, a fisherman found Madam Puah's body in Terengganu waters near Kuala Kemaman.

Her son Louis, 24, identified her body at a hospital in Kemaman.

The cause of death was drowning, a relative told The Straits Times, quoting an autopsy report.

She added that no injuries were found on the body.

The paddlers' kayak was found on Tuesday in the waters along the Kuantan coastline, about 150km from their last reported location.

The duo had separated from their group in choppy waters while on a five-day expedition.

In an Instagram post yesterday, Ms Ranie Pang wrote of her mother: "Josephine Puah Geok Tin (our dearest mummy) had lived her life to the fullest."

The wake will be held from today to Monday at the void deck of Madam Puah's Tampines home.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2019, with the headline 'Body of S'pore kayaker brought home for funeral'. Print Edition | Subscribe