Boy's drowning off Changi Beach ruled an 'unfortunate misadventure'

Friends and relatives carrying Putera Muhammad Indra Shazrine Suzaini's body back to his family flat in Yishun on Aug 23 last year. The 14-year-old's (above) body was found in the waters off Changi Beach Park the day before. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Friends and relatives carrying Putera Muhammad Indra Shazrine Suzaini's body back to his family flat in Yishun on Aug 23, 2020. The 14-year-old's body was found in the waters off Changi Beach Park the day before. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - A teenager had entered the waters off Changi Beach to clean himself, after building sandcastles with his friends on Aug 22 last year.

But strong currents swept the 14-year-old away from the shore.

After about a two-hour search, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers recovered Putera Muhammad Indra Shazrine Suzaini's body.

On Thursday (March 18), State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam ruled Putera's drowning an "unfortunate misadventure".

In her decision, she stressed the importance of educating children how to keep safe at beaches.

State Coroner Kamala said Putera had informed his mother of his plans to go to the beach.

He was there with a group of friends for a picnic. They also pitched a tent and played games including football.

After building sandcastles, the teenager, who did not know how to swim, waded into the water with a friend to clean themselves but were pulled away by strong currents.

Spotting the commotion, a passer-by entered the water and managed to rescue the friend.

Another man swam out and tried to rescue Putera, who was farther away. But he could not get a grip on the boy who was struggling.

He later lost sight of Putera and returned to the shore, exhausted.

The authorities were alerted at around 3.30pm and SCDF officers recovered the teenager's body later that day.

In an earlier interview with The Straits Times, his step-granduncle - Mr Noor Azman Marwi - described Putera as a "very quiet boy" who "didn't like to talk".

The 56-year-old transport company owner added: "He was very good to his mother and father."

Putera's mother was present in court on Thursday for the inquiry, but declined to comment when approached.