Body of man who fell into Pandan River found by kayakers

They helped bring the body nearer to shore.

Gawain Pek | August 23, 2022, 04:21 PM

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The body of a man who allegedly fell into Pandan River on Sunday (Aug. 21) has been found, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

The body was recovered on Aug. 22 by the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), with the help of a group of kayakers.

Body belongs to man who fell into river on Sunday

The police told Mothership that they received a call for assistance at 9:57am on Aug. 22 after a body of a man was found floating off the waters of Pandan River.

"The body of a 60-year-old man was subsequently retrieved from the waters", the police added.

"The man was reported missing by his next-of-kin on Aug. 21", the police said.

They do not suspect foul play.

In response to queries from Mothership, the SCDF shared that they received a call for assistance at Pandan River on 10.15am.

After its firefighters arrived on scene, it retrieved the body from a Police Coast Guard vessel and brought it back on land, SCDF said.

According to Shin Min Daily News, the body was found more than 4km away from where the man was suspected to have fallen into the river.

Kayakers brought body closer to shore

Speaking to ST, 47-year-old Rich Liow had planned to kayak from West Coast to Pulau Hantu with seven other kayakers before they decided to make a detour to Pandan River.

While crossing the river, Liow spotted a floating object in the river, ST wrote.

He had initially thought it was a gunny sack but eventually realised it was the body of a man after noticing tattoos and white hair when they got closer.

Liow told ST that he notified the Police Coast Guard after recalling that there had been an unsuccessful search for a person in the river just the day before on Aug. 21.

The kayakers remained on scene and rendered assistance even after the police and SCDF arrived, ST wrote.

Liow said that it felt "wrong" for them to walk away, and that it was their duty to help recover the body and bring closure to the family of the deceased.

Being on a more nimble kayak, Liow's friends, Bernard Lim, 56, and Chong Chee Voon, 59, volunteered to tow the body.

Lim secured the body with the rope and held onto the body while Chong paddled the kayak nearer to shore.

While waiting for the authorities, Liow and his group had to prevent otters from getting too close to the body, ST wrote.

The body was handed over to the authorities at about noon.

Police investigations are currently ongoing.

Man reported missing on Aug. 21

At about 6:50am on Aug. 21, the SCDF received a call for water rescue near the canal at Block 291E Bukit Batok Street 24.

The search was called off at around 11:30am, after four and a half hours.

A Facebook post appealing for witnesses was circulated online on Aug. 21.

In the post as seen by Mothership, the user shared that his father was last seen at Bukit Batok Street 24, and his slippers were found near the canal at Bukit Batok Park Connector.

The user also appealed for dashcam footage from cars parked at Block 291E Bukit Batok Street 24 between 3am to 6am on Aug. 21.

The user posted an update at 8:45am on Aug. 22, sharing that his father had passed on and is in a "better place now".

When contacted by Shin Min reporters, the user shared that the family are in grief and declined to be interviewed.

Top image via Linda Ong, Google Maps