Missing Singaporean diver: Indonesia extends search operations to July 22

Ms Rinta Paul Mukkam's brother Roy Paul Mukkam posted this picture on his Facebook page on Thursday (July 13) evening, asking for help and information.
Ms Rinta Paul Mukkam's brother Roy Paul Mukkam posted this picture on his Facebook page on Thursday (July 13) evening, asking for help and information. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ROY PAUL MUKKAM

SINGAPORE - The official search for missing Singaporean diver Rinta Paul Mukkam will be extended for three days till Saturday (July 22).

Ms Maria Imaculata Pilomena Rasi, a search and rescue analyst at Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), said that three more days will be added to the search efforts for Ms Rinta. The standard duration of search operations conducted by the agency is seven days.

According to Basarnas, the search for Ms Rinta is into its seventh day on Wednesday (July 19).

The 40-year-old associate regional sales manager failed to surface last Thursday (July 13) during a diving trip off Komodo Island. She had been part of a group of 16 women who were diving in the area.

On Wednesday morning (July 19), an appeal letter to extend the duration of official search efforts was sent to Basarnas, signed off by Mr Roy Paul Mukkam, Ms Rinta's brother.

"It would be devastating to close the search without finding her," the letter said.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Roy has been informed about the interim approval for extension by Basarnas.

 
 
 

The fund-raising effort on crowdfunding sites GoGetFunding and GiveAsia, started by a family friend, Dr Srinesh Balakrishnan, 37, to fund the search-and-rescue efforts, has stopped.

Previously, the funds raised were used to charter a helicopter to conduct an aerial search on Saturday and Sunday (July 15 and 16), and for two hours on Monday (July 17).

"I'm not clear as to the additional private funds required at this stage," said Dr Balakrishnan. He also added that he hopes that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indonesian authorities will be able to provide assistance.

Two representatives from Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta have been deployed to the location where search and rescue efforts are ongoing. One was sent on July 15, while the second official had arrived on July 18.