Support provided to staff, boatman's family: Singapore River Cruise

Members from the Singapore Civil Defence Force's diving unit prepare to launch their dinghy at the Esplanade's Outdoor Theatre to search for Mr Ong Hock Long.
Members from the Singapore Civil Defence Force's diving unit prepare to launch their dinghy at the Esplanade's Outdoor Theatre to search for Mr Ong Hock Long. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singapore River Cruise has been providing support to their staff following a bumboat fire that led to the death of boatman Ong Hock Long, it said in a statement on Thursday (July 14).

Mr Ong's body was found by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Wednesday evening. It was retrieved by firefighters with assistance from PUB, SCDF said in a Facebook post at 11.25pm on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old had jumped into the Singapore River after his boat caught fire on Tuesday, and failed to surface.

Since the incident, broadcast messages have been sent to the staff on a regular basis to update them, a Singapore River Cruise spokesman said.

"We encouraged employees to reach out to the management or their supervisors if have any concerns or if they are emotionally upset about the incident," she said.

Supervisors have also been told to monitor them and pay more attention to staff wellbeing, the spokesman added.

 

Singapore River Cruise management visited Mr Ong's family on Thursday afternoon.

The company will be extending financial assistance to them, but declined to provide more details.

It expressed its condolences to the family in a statement.

"The company has been providing assistance to Mr Ong's family, and will continue to do so in all possible ways at this difficult time for the family," the statement said.

The company also issued assurances that all its bumboats "adhere strictly" to safety regulations.

Safety measures include annual checks, and the provision of life buoys, life jackets and fire extinguishers on board the boat, it said.

The company employs about 30 boatmen.

"All boatmen under our employment own the Steersman License which equip them with the operational and safety knowledge," it added. "They are professionally trained and competent to operate the boats and react in times of emergencies."