Police investigating diver's unnatural death

Singaporean Jake Seet Choon Heng had been conducting underwater operations when he went missing on May 5, 2018.
Singaporean Jake Seet Choon Heng had been conducting underwater operations when he went missing on May 5, 2018.PHOTOS: ST FILE, LINKEDIN/JAKE SEET

The body of a commercial diver, who was reported missing near Sentosa last Saturday, has been found floating in the sea off Sentosa, said the police last night.

They were alerted to the body at 6.36pm and are investigating it as an unnatural death.

Mr Jake Seet Choon Heng, who was believed to have more than 10 years of diving experience, had been conducting underwater operations for the vessel, Jork, at the Western Anchorage near Sentosa.

The 33-year-old Singaporean had two sons, aged three and six, and his wife is expecting a baby girl next month.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Sunday that it was alerted to the diver's disappearance at 2.43pm on Saturday. It immediately deployed two MPA and two Police Coast Guard patrol craft to conduct search and rescue operations. Dive boats and divers were also sent by a commercial diving company to support the search.

Mr Seet was said to have been employed by Mola Subsea Services, which provides commercial diving services for vessels at all major ports and anchorages within Singapore.

Speaking to the media yesterday before his body had been found, Mr Seet's older sister, Ms Jacqueline Seet, said: "We are very sad of course, especially his wife. Every minute seems like ages.

"As of this point in time, we do not know what exactly had happened, how it happened, what steps and measures would be taken moving forward, and Jake's employer's protocol for handling such situations.

The three-day search for commercial diver Jake Seet Choon Heng came to a tragic end yesterday after police were alerted to a body in the waters off Sentosa. The 33-year-old father of two - with a third child on the way - had been reported missing on
The three-day search for commercial diver Jake Seet Choon Heng came to a tragic end yesterday after police were alerted to a body in the waters off Sentosa. The 33-year-old father of two - with a third child on the way - had been reported missing on Saturday. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Mr Jake Seet Choon Heng, who was believed to have more than 10 years of diving experience, had been conducting underwater operations for the vessel, Jork, at the Western Anchorage near Sentosa.

"We are extremely distressed by the limited information and answers made available to us."

The 37-year-old, who manages a food and beverage outlet, said her sister-in-law had found out her husband was missing when a friend working in the same industry called her on Saturday at about 6pm. "Neither the authorities nor Jake's employer called us to inform us about the incident," she said, adding that the family was then told by his employer and colleagues to wait for updates.

Industry veteran Abdul Malik, chairman of Commercial Diving Association (Singapore), told The Straits Times that Mr Seet was one of some 200 commercial divers here and had been in the industry for some time. "Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world, and a very large number of sea-going vessels will drop anchor at any one of the anchorages for a variety of reasons," he said.

Commercial diving work includes inspection and repair of vessels and routine maintenance like cleaning hulls and propellers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Police investigating diver's unnatural death'. Print Edition | Subscribe