Body of man missing near Sisters' Island found after nearly 3 days
The 41-year-old was reported missing on Sunday after he went snorkelling alone off islands' marine park
The body of a man who went snorkelling on his own in the sea off Sisters' Islands Marine Park, has been found almost three days after he went missing.
The police said the 41-year-old was reported missing after he went snorkelling alone on Sunday, and the police were alerted to a call for assistance that day at about 12.40pm.
A search and rescue operation by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force was then launched.
In an updated statement late last night, the police said the man's body was retrieved from the waters in the vicinity of the islands yesterday at about 5.45pm.
The police are investigating the unnatural death.
The man was reportedly with his family when they arrived on Sisters' Islands.The Sisters' Islands Marine Park spans about 40 hectares around Sisters' Islands and along the western reefs of both St John's Island and Pulau Tekukor.
The marine park is home to Singapore's first dive trail.
To get there, visitors charter their own boat from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier, or hire a private boat charter.
In a Facebook post on Monday, a man described his experience searching for the missing man.
Going by the Facebook name Aero Max, he said he received a call on Sunday asking for a last-minute charter job.
According to him, the call was from a distressed family searching for their missing family member.
The man wrote: "We were on full trips since 8am, but seeing their distress, we agreed to help them sail to Sisters' Islands at 9pm."
The man said it was pitch dark and his team coordinated the search with a dive boat. They later decided to do a search on land, he said, adding that the MPA joined the search along the coast with its search lights.
The team then combed the breakwaters, the coastline and the land, but the search was called off after three hours.
He said the man was last seen wearing a black shirt.
He declined comment when contacted by The New Paper yesterday.
Diving experts told TNP the currents in Singapore's waters can be quite strong and unpredictable.
Mr James Costello, the director of diving operator Diving Solutions (Asia), said the risk is even greater at Sisters' Islands, which is "far more exposed" compared to other islands.
Ms Serene Pek, director of Cuddlefish Divers, a company that conducts dive trips in local waters, said currents may be even more erratic during the current monsoon period.
While the experts agreed snorkelling is not a perilous activity, there are some risks involved.
Ms Pek said: "It is not a dangerous activity if you are a strong swimmer, but you are at risk of surface currents, which can bring you out."
While it is not required for snorkelling to be done in pairs, the experts said it is advisable to do so, as with any other water activity.
Mr Costello said: "If you want to go alone, you have to understand that the risk will increase. There are some precautions to take, such as equipping yourself with a life jacket and wearing bright colours. Being familiar with the waters would also be advantageous."