Search continues for missing commercial diver with over decade of experience

The diver had gone missing while he was on the job, conducting underwater operations for the vessel Jork at the Western Anchorage near Sentosa. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A commercial diver has still not been found, more than two days since he was reported missing near Sentosa.

Singaporean Jake Seet Choon Heng - who is believed to have more than 10 years of diving experience - had been conducting underwater operations for the vessel Jork at the Western Anchorage when he went missing on Saturday.

The 33-year-old has 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 (May 6) that it was alerted at 2.43pm of the diver's disappearance.

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.

The Straits Times understands that search operations are continuing.

It is also understood that Mr Seet is employed by Mola Subsea Services, which provides commercial diving services for vessels at all major ports and anchorages within Singapore.

Mr Seet's older sister, Ms Jacqueline Seet, said on Monday: "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.

"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, added that her sister-in-law found out that her husband was missing when a friend working in the same industry called her on Saturday around 6pm.

"Neither the authorities nor Jake's employer called us to inform us about the incident," she said, adding that the family has been told by his employer and colleagues to wait for updates.

"We need answers and information. We urge all parties to do their utmost to search for Jake as time obviously is the most critical factor. Please bring Jake home."

Industry veteran Abdul Malik, chairman of Commercial Diving Association (Singapore), told The Straits Times that Mr Seet is one of some 200 commercial divers in Singapore.

"He's been in the industry for quite some time," said Mr Malik, adding that Mr Seet is a freelance self-employed diver who works for different companies.

"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."

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

Mr Malik added: "We are hoping for the best."

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