Sea mishaps: National Water Safety Council says those in water must be vigilant

The National Water Safety Council has urged Singaporeans to be vigilant when taking part in sea and water sports, in the light of the recent mishaps off the eastern coast of the island. The council’s chairman, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said the drowning-relat
The National Water Safety Council has urged Singaporeans to be vigilant when taking part in sea and water sports, in the light of the recent mishaps off the eastern coast of the island. The council’s chairman, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said the drowning-related incidences over the past few days were unfortunate. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The National Water Safety Council has urged Singaporeans to be vigilant when taking part in sea and water sports, in the light of the recent mishaps off the eastern coast of the island.

The council’s chairman, Dr Teo Ho Pin, said the drowning-related incidences over the past few days were unfortunate.

On Tuesday morning, the body of a man, believed to have gone missing after he went swimming off East Coast Park a day earlier, was found. This came after the discovery of a toddler’s body off Bedok Jetty late Monday night.

*Note: 2012 figure is provisional.

Meanwhile, the search for Singaporean student Goh Chuan Kiet, 23, who went missing off Changi on Sunday, continues.

“Safety is not something to be compromised,” Dr Teo said in a statement to The Straits Times on Tuesday.

“The National Water Safety Council urges all Singaporeans to remain vigilant and exercise caution when engaging in water-based activities, especially during the school holidays as most pools and open water areas are usually crowded during this period.”

He called on water sports enthusiasts to practise personal responsibility, and also said water sports operators and aquatic facilities owners must do their part by ensuring that safety regulations are followed.

“Participants in open water sports are not only expected to be equipped with the necessary open water survival skills and knowledge before embarking on such activities, but should also take precautions such as wearing protective devices, such as life jackets, and refrain from taking unnecessary risks in the water,” he said.

In 2012, there were 25 deaths caused by drowning here, with 18 classified as accidental drowning, according to latest figures from the registrar of births and deaths. In 2011 and 2010, there were 47 drownings in each year.