SCDF NSF who died in pump well could not swim: "Everyone in the camp knew that he was afraid of water"

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman who died during a celebration that went tragically wrong could not swim.

Corporal (CPL) Kok Yuen Chin died after he was found unconscious inside a pump well at Tuas view Fire Station on Sunday (May 13).

He had been celebrating his impending operationally ready date (ORD) with his squad mates and one of the activities involved getting him into the pump well, a reservoir of water used by personnel at the fire station for training and the testing of fire engine pumps.

His SCDF colleagues had told him that he would be thrown into the 12-m deep well to celebrate his last few days in service.

Cpl Kok's aunt told The New Paper that her nephew did not see the activity as celebratory.

"Everyone in the camp knew that he was afraid of water, and could not swim," she said.

"The whole family was worried, but we thought there would be someone supervising the situation."

Cpl Kok had returned to Malaysia to vote in the general election last week and had reportedly even bought snacks to take back to his colleagues to try to persuade them not to rag him.

However, they went ahead with the "celebration".

When he did not resurface in the well later, several SCDF personnel jumped into the well to look for him but could not find him.

He was rushed by ambulance to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 12-m deep well, has a 1.8m diameter opening, said SCDF.

During the incident, the water level was about one metre below the opening of the well.

"The police are conducting investigations, on what had happened, including how Cpl Kok fell into the pump well, and whether any person(s) are criminally responsible," said SCDF.

Two SCDF regular personnel were arrested on Monday (May 14) based on preliminary investigations. 

The SCDF said that a Board of Inquiry will be set up to look into the case, and promised that details surrounding the incident will be made public in due course. 

Cpl Kok's family has taken his body back to Melaka.

Read the full story at The New Paper.

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