Later that morning, Kayakasia’s Mr Sim and the group he was leading were paddling back from the Southern Islands at about 11.45am. He met one of the four sea kayakers and learnt that the missing woman was a friend of his.
He sought permission from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to join the search operation and also informed her husband of what had happened.
He paddled out with one of the sea kayakers to search along the paths of known currents and possible handholds, such as the anchor chain of tankers or boat tyres that someone in the water could cling on to.
“I decided to join a search because we’re familiar with how the currents are flowing. When somebody gets into the water, it’s a possibility they are just floating with the current,” he said.
“And with kayaks, we are also able to examine objects (more easily) rather than the ships the Coast Guard and MPA have. We went around to the anchorages and looked at the anchors and tyres that were tied to the boats to see whether anybody was clinging on to those handholds.”
The kayak search lasted for one-and-a-half hours until the authorities called them back.
“Today I went out because I had another trip, and I was still looking around,” said Mr Sim.
The search operation for the missing kayaker is ongoing, MPA said in its latest update on Monday.