Sister of diver missing near Sentosa pleads for 'all parties' to find her brother

·Editorial Team
A visitor taking a photograph while a container ship sails past Sentosa Island are seen from the skybridge at the Pinnacle@Duxton. (Getty Images file photo)
A visitor taking a photograph while a container ship sails past Sentosa Island are seen from the skybridge at the Pinnacle@Duxton. (Getty Images file photo)

The sister of a missing Singaporean diver has made an urgent plea on Monday (7 May) for “all parties to do their utmost” to bring her brother home, 48 hours after he was first reported missing near Sentosa.

In a media statement, Jacqueline Seet Ai Chen added that neither the authorities nor her brother’s employer had promptly informed their family about his disappearance.

Jake Seet Choon Heng, a 33-year-old commercial diver, went missing while conducting underwater operations for the vessel Jork at the Western Anchorage near Sentosa on Saturday.

“My sister-in-law (Jake’s wife) only knew about the incident when a friend who was working in the same industry telephoned her on or around 5 May 2018 at 6pm to tell her that Jake had gone missing in the course of his work,” she wrote. “On my part, I only came to know about the incident when my sister-in-law informed me about it.”

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) was alerted of his disappearance at about 2.43pm on Saturday and immediately deployed MPA and two Police Coast Guard patrol crafts to the scene to conduct search and rescue.

Jacqueline said it was that she found out that the authorities were alerted about the incident much earlier than her through media reports.

“That meant that Jake had been reported missing for a few hours before we, the family members, even came to know about it,” she said.

When the family contacted Jake’s employer and colleagues, they also couldn’t gather much information from them and were told to wait for updates. A police report about the incident has been made due to the lack of information, she added.

“So far, we were told that (a) the search operation had stopped at 8pm on 5 May 2018 and resumed at noon on 6 May 2018. But the operations yielded little progress; and (b) a sonar scan would be conducted today, 7 May 2018. However, as at 1pm, the sonar scan had not commenced,” she wrote.

“As of this point in time, we do not know what exactly had happened, how it happened, what steps and measures would be taken moving forward, and Jake’s employer’s protocol for handling such situations,” she added.

“We are extremely distressed by the limited information and answers made available to us.”

Search and dive operations are currently ongoing, as of 5.02pm on Monday.

Dive boats and divers were also deployed by the commercial diving company to support the search, the MPA spokesperson said, adding that the authority has been issuing navigational broadcasts to alert nearby vessels of the incident.

Jacqueline, who earlier identified herself as Jake’s sister in a series of comments posted on the social media platform on Sunday, also said her “only brother” is married with two young sons, aged six and three.

His wife is due to deliver their third child, a daughter, next month, she added.

Jake is said to be wearing a “sleeveless orange coverall” when he went missing, according to a post by Facebook user Muhd Roni on Sunday night.

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