NUS student drowns in Croatia
A National University of Singapore (NUS) student who was due to graduate next month drowned in Croatia yesterday while swimming at a waterfall.
Mr Andy Chow Kok Haw, a fourth-year pharmacy student, was swimming in Krka National Park with friends when he went missing.
The 25-year-old was later found dead at the deeper segment of the waterfall, some distance from where his friends were.
The park, which features rapids and waterfalls on the Krka river, is a few kilometres north-east of the city of Sibenik.
According to travel websites, the main waterfall - Skradinski Buk - is popular among swimmers and tourists.
Mr Chow's father, engineer Victor Chow, 55, told The Straits Times that the friends alerted authorities, and divers had to retrieve his son's body.
He said: "Nobody knew it was that deep. There were people swimming around as well. But when his friends noticed he was missing, it was already too late."
It was Mr Chow's first time in Croatia. The trip was meant to be a three-week European vacation to celebrate his graduation.
His friends said he was accompanied by his long-time girlfriend, Miss Debbie Tan.
GRIEF AND SHOCK
Mr Chong Junfeng, 25, who had known Mr Chow since their national service days, told The New Paper the couple were close.
"There is nothing I can say that can describe the grief and shock that she must be feeling. They had been together for so long," he said.
A photo of the smiling couple in an aircraft was posted on her Facebook page on Saturday.
Mr Chong described Mr Chow, who was a Third Sergeant in their infantry regiment, as responsible and intelligent.
"He was the kind of person who is a natural leader. Men would follow him because he was a nice person," added Mr Chong, who works in the film industry.
Mr Chow, who was known to be an avid adventurer, was an active member of outdoor activities group NUS Rovers.
The former Hwa Chong Institution student received the MOH Holdings Health Science and Nursing Scholarship in 2012.
His loved ones are coming to terms with their loss.
"When you're swimming, anything can happen. You can't predict it," his father told ST. "It's a very hard period for us."