Singapore

$13,700 reward offered for missing Singaporean diver

A USD $10,000 (S$13,700) reward has been offered for finding Singaporean diver Rinta Mukkam, 40, who went missing in the waters of Gili Lawa Laut, near Komodo Island, in Indonesia last Thursday.

The search, which enters the fifth day today, has been widened to cover the waters off Pulau Sangeang in the north-west and Pulau Kelapa in the south-west.

About 25 dive operators and 21 personnel from Indonesian search and rescue agency Basarnas are involved.

Mr Supriyanto Ridwan, head of operations at Basarnas Kupang, told The New Paper yesterday that a helicopter and five vessels are involved in the search for the associate regional sales manager at aviation consultancy FlightGlobal (Singapore).

He added: "We are conducting an underwater search off the coast of Gili Lawa Laut and will sweep the surface area. We will search for seven days and if there are any signs of the missing diver, it will be extended."

CROWDFUNDING

A crowdfunding page set up on Saturday by Mr Srinesh Balakrishnan, 37, a Mukkam family friend, had raised about $125,000 by last night for a private search operation, including by helicopter.

He told TNP: "Our best bet to find Rinta is to conduct a private search to assist Basarnas."

Ms Mukkam's brother, lawyer Roy Mukkam, 36, told TNP on Saturday: "I am out at sea assisting with the search. Fishermen have been promised a reward for locating her."

Ms Mukkam's colleague, who did not want to be named, said: "She liked to travel and experience life, and would always have time to listen to people and have a laugh.

"She loved diving. She went diving with whale sharks last year and was on a diving trip a few months ago.

"She went on this trip to take time off work and relax."

In 2012, Ms Mukkam wrote on Facebook: "I saw a six-metre manta ray swim around and over me. If there is one thing I realise, we are nothing. The splendour of the seas never fails to mesmerise and humble me."

Divingrescueindonesia