Marina Bay bumboat fire: Boatman had recent break-up
Family members said boatman still affected by recent failed relationship
He was a troubled man.
A recent break-up seemed to weigh on him, and a failed business haunted him.
Boatman Ong Hock Long, 33, had gone missing on Tuesday evening while operating bumboat No. 36, which was engulfed in flames in the waters off the Esplanade.
His body was found late last night. (See report, above.)
Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that family members said Mr Ong had broken up with his girlfriend about two months ago, and it still affected him.
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His 63-year-old father was also quoted as saying that his son had a failed duck rice stall five years ago, and required help from the family to repay the debt.
Ong, who worked for Singapore River Cruise, was seen jumping into the waters of Marina Bay on Tuesday evening, as No. 36 was consumed in a fiery inferno.
He was the only one aboard the battery-operated vessel at the time.
FOUND: Mr Ong Hock Long's body was retrieved last night by SCDF firefighters with assistance from PUB.
Witnesses had previously told The New Paper there was initially just smoke from the boat, which they dismissed as mist from machines used to cool people off.
But the boat soon erupted into flames. It was later engulfed by the fire as it drifted in front of the Esplanade river bank.
Thick smoke could be seen clouding the Singapore skyline from parts of the Central Business District, even as the inferno was contained on the bumboat.
Pictures of the incident later showed Mr Ong, in a yellow top, jumping overboard.
But he did not resurface.
Divers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) Disaster and Rescue Team (Dart) were later sent out to look for Mr Ong.
But the underwater search was called off, and a surface search operation resumed.
Mr Ong's family was seen in the area while the search was carried out on Tuesday evening.
When TNP contacted Singapore River Cruise yesterday, the phone operator declined comment, only saying that the company's management were having meetings, and they were working closely with the police.
Well-wishes flooded social media after the news broke, with many hoping for Mr Ong's safe return.
Those hopes were dashed last night.
Body of missing boatman found
The body of boatman Ong Hock Long, 33, was found yesterday evening.
An update on the Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) Facebook page said the body was found in the Singapore River, and was retrieved by SCDF firefighters with assistance from PUB, the national water agency.
The update included condolences from the SCDF, and said Mr Ong's family has been informed.
A security officer, 32, who did not want to be identified, said he saw the body being taken out of the water near the F1 Pit Building at about 11pm.
"It was weird because I saw an ambulance without its siren on coming into this open space," he said. "Suddenly police cars and a fire engine also came."
He took a closer look and soon saw SCDF officers taking the body out of the water.
"It was very dark, and there was no commotion," he said. "I figured it must have been the missing boatman."