Man, 74, missing after boarding cruise ship

Mr Goh Hai Peng, a retired electrician travelling alone, boarded the Genting Dream cruise ship on Aug 4. It was only on Aug 7, when he did not disembark after the ship returned to Singapore, that the crew discovered Mr Goh was no longer on board.
Mr Goh Hai Peng, a retired electrician travelling alone, boarded the Genting Dream cruise ship on Aug 4. It was only on Aug 7, when he did not disembark after the ship returned to Singapore, that the crew discovered Mr Goh was no longer on board.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO, DREAM CRUISES
Mr Goh Hai Peng, a retired electrician travelling alone, boarded the Genting Dream cruise ship on Aug 4. It was only on Aug 7, when he did not disembark after the ship returned to Singapore, that the crew discovered Mr Goh was no longer on board.
Mr Goh Hai Peng, a retired electrician travelling alone, boarded the Genting Dream cruise ship on Aug 4. It was only on Aug 7, when he did not disembark after the ship returned to Singapore, that the crew discovered Mr Goh was no longer on board.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO, DREAM CRUISES

Video shows him entering cabin but not leaving; son urges search to be stepped up

A 74-year-old retired electrician, who went on his very first cruise, has been declared missing by the crew of cruise ship Genting Dream.

His disappearance was discovered only after the ship, which can accommodate 4,500 passengers, returned to Singapore on Aug 7.

Mr Goh Hai Peng, who was travelling alone, had left on Aug 4 on a four-day, three-night cruise which included stops on the islands of Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia, on Aug 5 and 6 respectively.

His son, Mr Adrian Goh, told Chinese-language daily Lianhe Wanbao that the ship's surveillance footage showed his father entering his cabin at about 7pm on the first day of the cruise. The cabin has a balcony.

That was the first and last time Mr Goh was seen in the video footage, which did not show him leaving his cabin the entire cruise.

However, Mr Adrian Goh said that he was told by cruise operator Dream Cruises that at 3am on Aug 5, surveillance cameras captured what appeared to be a "whitish figure" falling into the sea.

Mr Adrian Goh, who is in his 30s, found it hard to believe his father, who was short, could have accidentally fallen off the balcony.

He added that his father was not a gambler or drinker, and had not entered the ship's casino.

The older man also did not have health or financial problems.

"My father was supposed to go on the trip with my mother, but because she had to look after their grandchild, he went on his own," he said.

"I believe he would not have done anything silly."

 

All his father's belongings, which Dream Cruises has returned to the family, were found intact in the cabin, Mr Adrian Goh told The New Paper (TNP) in an e-mail on Sunday.

In the e-mail, Mr Adrian Goh said the family is deeply distressed by his father's disappearance.

The family, he said, was not given access to information such as the extent of the search and rescue operation, or the ship's surveillance footage, until about a week later.

"For all we know, our father could still be alive and adrift somewhere in the Malacca Strait, and it seems as if he had been left for dead."

The authorities in Singapore and Malaysia, including the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, have been notified about Mr Goh's disappearance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police Coast Guard and the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur are rendering assistance to the family.

A Dream Cruises spokesman told TNP that Mr Goh did not claim his passport during disembarkation after the ship docked in Singapore on Aug 7. Crew members then searched the ship, and, when it proved futile, reported Mr Goh as missing to the Singapore police.

Police officers later boarded the ship to conduct investigations.

"Dream Cruises offers its heartfelt thoughts and sympathies to the family members of the missing person in this time of difficulty," the spokesman said.

"Dream Cruises is working closely with the respective authorities and will inform the family members should there be any updates from the authorities on the reported incident."

A spokesman for the police confirmed that a report was made at about 7.50pm on Aug 7 and that they are looking into the matter.

Mr Adrian Goh said that while he appreciates the efforts by the authorities, he hopes more can be done.

He said: "We urge the relevant parties and authorities to step up their efforts to find our father."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2019, with the headline 'Man, 74, missing after boarding cruise ship'. Print Edition | Subscribe