The family of the boy who drowned at Changi Beach Park last Saturday did not know that he had gone to the beach, a relative told The Straits Times yesterday morning.
They had thought that 14-year-old Putera Muhammad Indra Shazrine Suzaini had gone to study with friends and were shocked when they got the call informing them that the Secondary 2 boy had drowned, said the boy's step-granduncle.
"He was a very quiet boy, didn't like to talk. But he was very good to his mother and father," Mr Noor Azman Marwi, 56, a transport company owner, told ST at the Singapore General Hospital morgue.
"I saw him during gatherings or whenever I visited their home," he said, adding that Putera would sometimes tag along with his stepfather for events organised by a motorcycle charity club, where both men are members.
According to eyewitnesses who posted online about the incident, Putera was part of a group of about six boys who had gone fishing and swimming at Changi Beach Park.
Condolences poured in online for Putera's mother, Lynn Boyan Putra.
She declined to speak to the media at the morgue yesterday.
On the day of the incident, she had gone to the scene of her son's death after receiving calls from the police and her son's friends.
She had told Shin Min Daily News that her son was obedient and well-behaved, but also timid - so she was taken aback when she received a call from her son's schoolmate about the incident.
She also told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that her son did not know how to swim.
The teenager's body was found in the waters off Changi Beach Park by rescuers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at around 3.30pm last Saturday.
When SCDF officers first arrived at the scene, they found one person on the shore who was later taken to Changi General Hospital.
A QUIET BOY
He was a very quiet boy, didn't like to talk. But he was very good to his mother and father. I saw him during gatherings or whenever I visited their home.
MR NOOR AZMAN MARWI, step-granduncle of Putera Muhammad Indra Shazrine Suzaini (above).
Divers from the SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team performed an underwater search for Putera, who was later found about 15m from the shore and pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic.
The police are investigating the unnatural death.
Putera's stepfather, Mr Putra Muhd Arffi, 40, said the teenager was the oldest of three boys, the other two being aged 13 and one.
"I don't know much about what happened, I just know he was there with some of his friends from school," said Mr Putra, who works in pest control.
"I also know there were some fishermen nearby who also tried to help in the rescue," he said.
Yesterday, more than 50 family members and friends gathered at Putera's family home in Yishun as well as at the building's void deck.
He was later buried at about 4pm at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery.