Singapore boy drowns in waters off East Coast Park. This is the second tragedy involving a secondary school student in 2 weeks...
What was meant to be a day of fun and relaxation after the exams ended in tragedy for this 12-year-old Singapore boy.
Singapore boy drowns
According to The Straits Times, on May 8, the body of 12-year-old Muhammad Suhaimi Sabastian, student of Jurongville Secondary School, was found in the waters off Bedok Jetty.
Apparently a group of 7 lower Secondary school students had gone for a swim to refresh themselves after their exam that morning. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) were first alerted to a missing person at around 12: 25 pm. It took nearly 3 hours for the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team from the SCDF to find the boy.
Unfortunately it was too late, and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are currently investigating the incident.
Ms Elaine Tan, vice-principal of Jurongville Secondary School, has been quoted by The Straits Times as saying, “It was reported to us that he had visited East Coast Park with a group of friends for a swim, after taking his examination paper this morning.”
“School leaders, staff and counsellors are currently providing emotional support and assistance to the family in their time of grief. We are also supporting and counselling affected students and staff. As the police are investigating this case, we are unable to comment further.”
Muhammad, a Secondary 1 student, was the youngest of 3 sons.
We offer our condolences and prayers to the family of this young boy.
Heroic act by mum saves 3 boys
Meanwhile, it has come to light that a mum who was relaxing on the beach with her daughter was instrumental in saving the lives of 3 boys in the group.
Australian mum Silvia Hajas was alerted to their cries for help. She has been quoted by The New Paper as saying, “There were about seven boys 50 m away from shore. Three managed to swim back while four seemed to have more trouble staying afloat.”
She dived into the water and managed to save 3 boys. But by the time she back back for the fourth boy, it was too late. She told the Straits Times, “I kept looking out on the horizon for him, but he never came back up.”
Sylvia also told The New Paper, “That sea is very harsh and deep. My feet couldn’t touch the ground. If you don’t know how to swim, you wouldn’t know how to react in those waters and those boys looked like they were in shock.”
Safe swimming at the beach
Swimming at the beach is far trickier than the pool, because of changing waves and currents. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.
- Never swim alone. Don’t swim after dark, as no one can see you if you need help.
- Little children must be supervised by their parents at all times, no matter how good they are at swimming.
- Always swim where a lifeguard can see you and in areas that are marked for swimmers to use. Swim between the red and yellow flags if it is a patrolled beach.
- In some places, swimmers may run into strong ocean currents. Rip currents (also called riptides) are so strong that they can carry swimmers away from shore before they know what’s happening. If you are caught in a current, swim parallel to the shore (alongside the shore) rather than toward the shore until the water stops pulling you, then swim diagonally back to shore.
- Avoid floating around on a tyre or a blow up mattress at the beach as you could be dumped by waves or carried out further than you are able to swim back.
- Always wear a life jacket (personal floatation device) if you are water skiing or paddling on a board, or a canoe, or out in a boat.