Diver drowns in Singapore

September 22, 2009


A Singaporean diver’s body has been found floating near an oil rig, which he was working on, at the Jurong West Anchorage in Tuas, Singapore.

Gerald Chia’s body was found by the Maritime & Port of Authority of Singapore and the Police Coast Guard on Sunday evening, 54 hours after he went missing, reported local media.

When Chia went missing at around noon last Friday, he was on only his second assignment underwater for J Diving Services. He had started freelancing for the company only two days before that.

Chia’s job was to install shackles on the rig, a relatively simple task, said A. Fong, J Diving Services’ supervisor, reported The Straits Times. Seasoned divers would take 15 minutes to do it, and newcomers, half an hour at the most, he added.

Chia had gone underwater, about 20 metres down, with a more expereinced partner, as is the practice in the industry.

The pair were supposed to surface together, but his buddy told his colleagues later that Chia neeeded to share oxygen with him, although its was not clear why.

Chia took two breaths of air before ascending to the surface.

Fong said Chia’s buddy followed him up, but lost sight of him and started searching for him without success.

He said the air tank Chia used has been taken by the police for investigations. He said there had been sufficient oxygen in it.

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