Police boat rescues two men fishing in waters off Changi Ferry Terminal during storm

A police boat came to the aid of two men who were fishing in a boat off the waters off Changi Ferry Terminal, after the engine of the men's boat failed to start.
A police boat came to the aid of two men who were fishing in a boat off the waters off Changi Ferry Terminal, after the engine of the men's boat failed to start.VIDEO SCREENGRAB: ANTHONY/WHATSAPP

SINGAPORE - Two men were out fishing on a boat off Changi Ferry Terminal on Tuesday morning (Sept 4) when a storm suddenly approached.

The two friends wanted to turn back to shore but realised the boat's battery was flat and the vessel would not start.

Stuck at sea with inclement weather, the men - one in his 40s and the other at 68 years old - contacted the Police Coast Guard.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was then alerted and within minutes, help arrived at sea.

The 68-year-old, who wanted to be known only as Mr Anthony, said that the sky had "suddenly turned quite nasty" with strong winds and currents. He added that the boat began to drift as well.

A police boat arrived in 5 minutesafter the duo's call for help. As rain started pelting down, the police boat's crew worked to tow Mr Anthony's Bayliner boat and secure it to a nearby buoy, to ensure the pair's safety.

The visibility in the heavy rain then was limited to only around 3 metres, said Mr Anthony.

Citizen journalism website Stomp reported on the incident on Thursday, after Mr Anthony wrote in to the portal.

MPA said on Friday that it responded to a request for help from a pleasure craft through the Police Coast Guard about 8.30am on Tuesday.

An MPA spokesman said the engine of the pleasure craft could not start as its batteries were drained, so it needed MPA's help to tow and secure the craft to a nearby buoy.

An adjacent ferry boat then helped to charge the batteries of the craft, and provided the two men on the boat with some refreshments.

"Thereafter, the two men continued with their fishing trip," added the MPA spokesman.

Mr Anthony, who works in the building industry, said his fishing trips take place every two to three weeks. It was the first time he had seen the weather turn so fast in the one year since he started on these trips.

He credited an officer called Mr Ashraf on the police vessel, for keeping the situation under control.

Mr Anthony said: "We were not worried at all, because the officer was so comforting and calm.

"I learnt that he was on the night shift and was getting ready to to knock off, but when he attended to us he did not display any distress at all."

He said that if Mr Ashraf and his team had not arrived, his craft could have continued drifting out into an area where ships and tankers passed by.

Mr Anthony and his friend later received help from a ferry parked near a breakwater. The captain of the Singapore-registered ferry, a man named Mr Untung, helped to charge his boat's battery, and also offered the pair lunch and coffee aboard the ferry.

After the storm subsided around noon, Mr Anthony and his friend continued fishing for about four hours without incident. He said that he will take more precautions, such as studying the weather forecasts, for future trips.

Mr Anthony said: "It was a very touching experience coming from one good situation to another, with the police who came just in time to secure us safe passageway and the ferry that helped us."