Sunday, May 24, 2009

More on the MacRitchie Canoe Incident


The important details of this sad incident is still missing from most news reports out there. We can now confirm that he was coaching the NJC canoeing team. The incident took place in the late evening after 6 pm. The SCDF stated they only received a call at 6.45 pm and they arrived 15 minutes later which was at 7 pm...by which time, he was already past any help.
The 1st news report stated that his canoe sank. This is very different from just a simple capsize. Canoes do not simply sink when capsized. They remain afloat often in an upside down position. And most canoeists would have been taught how to cling on to the bow or stern of their craft until rescued or until help arrives. Or if they are not too far away from shore...to gently kick, breaststroke style, towards land. In addition, all must have on their life-vests or other flotation devices.
As a longtime canoeing coach and practitioner,I am still puzzled and mystified by this incident.
Unk Dicko

Straits Times online
Home > Breaking News > Singapore > Story
May 24, 2009
Canoe instructor drowns
By Lee Xin En

Mr Chua Ee Tuck had already stopped breathing when the paramedics arrived on the scene. -- PHOTO: CHAN FAMILY
FREELANCE canoe instructor Chua Ee Tuck drowned while coaching some secondary school students last Friday at MacRitchie Reservoir.
According to the police, officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force received a call at about 6.45pm.
When they arrived 15 minutes later, the 35-year-old Singapore Polytechnic graduate had already stopped breathing. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
At the wake yesterday, his mother, Madam Choong Kam Choo, 64, said she found it hard to accept his sudden death.
'He was such a good son, and he was always responsible. If he wasn't coming home for dinner, he would SMS me ahead of time. Whenever I fell sick, he would take care of me,' she said in between sobs.
She added that she could not understand how the tragedy had happened because he was always careful. He cycled and jogged regularly and was a good swimmer.
About 50 students from the National Junior College canoeing team, including some who had already graduated, attended the wake yesterday. Mr Chua had been coaching the team since last year.
One student, who declined to be named, said:'We're going to miss him. He was very patient, and like a friendly buddy to us.'

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to inform you that Mr Chua Ee Tuck was NOT coaching NJC Canoeing Team on Friday, when the mishap occurred. Instead, he was coaching the Crescent Girl's Team as their coach was on reservist.
Please note this clarification.
Thank you.

unk Dicko said...

Hi there,
Thanks for the update. However, as anyone can read in the official news report, there is no mention of CGS at all. Instead NJC is mentioned and that he was the coach of the team.
I wonder why the reporter did not verify who those students were at the time of the incident.
Nevertheless, I thank you for this clarification.

Anonymous said...

He was coaching Crescent on that day, however it's not because their coach was on reservist, their coach left to help out on the YOG canoeing event. I should know, I'm a CGS canoeist.

unk Dicko said...

Thank you Anon from CGS.
Are you able to throw further light on what happened during that tragic incident?

Anonymous said...

It could be because he was stuck under the canoe, since his life jacket tried to keep him afloat but the canoe was over him and was in the way. Just a theory.