Monday, November 26, 2007

A little life jacket took 5 Singaporeans' lives

What actually happened at the scene of the Singaporean dragon boat accident at Tonle Sap, Cambodia? When I watched the TV news on the tragedy yesterday, I had another question in mind: Why weren’t they wearing life jackets?

According to the Straits Times, life jackets were optional during the dragon boat race at the Tonle Sap event and the paddlers had decided to do without them so that they would be able to paddle faster and better. This would have never been allowed in Singapore.

Certainly, it was a decision gone wrong which has caused the loss of the precious lives of our five young men. It’s just like driving a car. Even if the driver has excellent driving skills, it is imperative that he puts on his safety belts whether or not there are safety regulations enforced because he will never know when an unfortunate accident may strike.

The following is the eyewitness account of Singapore dragon boat accident in Cambodia reported by ChannelNewsAsia:

SINGAPORE: A Channel NewsAsia viewer who was at the scene of the dragon boat accident in Cambodia on Friday evening gave an eyewitness account. Mr Joey Paraiso, who was in Cambodia to cheer the Filipino team, also sent Channel NewsAsia a series of photos of the accident and subsequent rescue efforts.

The Singapore boat capsized as the 22 men were rowing back to the starting line at the end of the 1.5-kilometre Cambodia-ASEAN Traditional Boat Race. Five men are missing after the incident, all members of the new national dragon boat team that was formed about a year ago.

Mr Paraiso recounted what he saw. He said: ''What I witnessed was the Singaporean team had already finished the race and was starting back to the point......for them to disembark. "Unfortunately, during the time team players (were) getting off from the boat, the boat suddenly shook off and overturned. It happened so quickly." He added: "The remaining players, the Singapore rowers, one by one floated and saved themselves and there were some railings that they were able to hold on.....

"All the players, I guess, were a little over-fatigued so they were not able to swim normally, so they just looked for something to hang on and the current was a bit strong. "All the rescued players were able to meet on the platform and to account for those missing."

"All the people watching that incident were shocked, so (there was) a little commotion and panic all around the area," he added. - CNA/ir

Update: The Singapore dragon boat team were allegedly warned about the strong currents by Cambodian officials.


mr.udders said...

Can you all just let people die in peace or not?

Die already still want to say 'I told you so'.

For what, you tell me?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Can't ppl just let be? They just wanted to do Spore proud. And a life vest is not a 100% life-saver. It helps buoyancy but if they were trapped under the structure it would not have mattered. All this talk does not do the team any gd as well.

Anonymous said...

if the current is really strong, it will suck the person in whether he is wearing life jacket or not

James Chia said...

Thanks for visiting my site and dropping your comments here.

Yes it is unfortunate that they lost their lives in the tragedy and I agree they might not be able to escape anyway if they were trapped under the pontoon but i think the life jacket would probably have given them a better chance of survival if they have worn it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what you wrote as the title.

It's "NOT WEARING a little life jacket took 5 Singaporeans' lives", or "a big water current took 5 Singaporeans' lives.