The Straits Times, p. 4. FOCUS Adventure. Recreation. Lack of water safety awareness contributed to accident. Quek, C., Sloan, B., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 27). The summer solstice occurs around 21 June and is the reason why Chinese refer to their festival as "Duan Wu" or "Duen Ng". A memorial “row-out” was conducted on 16 December 2007 at the. Invalid email address. Bodies of dragon boat paddlers recovered. Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. However, they conceded that a language barrier might have prevented the message from being properly communicated to the Singapore team.13Casualties and recovery of bodiesThe five paddlers who lost their lives in the mishap were Chee Wei Cheng, a 20-year-old full-time national serviceman; Jeremy Goh Tze Xiong, a 24-year-old Singapore Institute of Management undergraduate; Stephen Loh Soon Ann, a 31-year-old physical-education teacher at the National Junior College; Reuben Kee En Rui, a 23-year-old music composer and former beauty pageant winner; and Poh Boon San, a 27-year-old engineer at the Defence Science and Technology Agency.14After the incident occurred, a Cambodian search-and-rescue team of more than 200 men, comprising volunteers from the local fishing community, divers, navy sailors and the police, began the search for the five missing bodies. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.4. The force of the collision caused their boat to capsize. Cambodia’s Water Festival regarded as top attraction. Today, on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, ... Be among the first to know about COVID-19 updates and other breaking news in Singapore and the world. Five of them managed to resurface at the far end of the pontoon, but the remaining five did not.12The Cambodian authorities later revealed that they had cautioned the participating teams against approaching that pontoon, as the waters around it were susceptible to whirlpools and downward rips. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.15. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.34. The Straits Times, p. 59. A painstaking journey. Say sorry: Families to dragonboat group. The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) on Wednesday expressed their condolences to the families of the seven paddlers who died after their dragon boat capsized during training in Boracay. The Straits Times, p. 1. Quek, C., & Sloan, B. (2008, May 31). A Sunday of sorrow and tears for family members. and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It recommended that Singapore’s dragon boat teams only compete in events that comply with IDBF standards; if events do not follow IDBF guidelines, the SDBA would assess the risks before deciding on participation. (2008, May 31). Read: My first-person account. “NTU dragon boat team raises $125,000 for bursary fund”. Singapore's tragedy in Cambodia Hi Friends, This is a sad weekend for Singapore, especially for the grieving families of our five fine Singaporean rowers. A memorial service wa… (2007, November 26). Loh, Sharon. (2007, November 29). 16.Hasnita A. Majid. [20] They threw chrysanthemum flowers and joss sticks into the river to mourn the 5 team members who had lost their lives. That's what caused dragon boat deaths”. “Goodbye for the Last Time”. Quek, Carolyn. c/o Sport Singapore, 3 Stadium Drive, #01-33 Singapore 397630 The team did not have an established safety procedure of conducting risk assessments, giving safety briefings or safety drills. Tan, Esther. The coach of the ill-fated team, Nasiman Karim, was of the view that life jackets would have been more of a hindrance in the Tonle Sap mishap. The Straits Times, p. 1. The recipients of the bursary fund in 2008 were Koh Seng Long and Peh Kai Jay.[25]. Five others came close to drowning too. A dragon boat has capsized in Sitio Tulubhan in Boracay. SINGAPORE DRAGON BOAT ASSOCIATION. The SDBA and its affiliates should put in place a proper system in preparation for races. If what she says is true, the authorities and rescue services should seriously look into their response times – especially the helicopter and marine (including divers) search-and-rescue teams. 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. He recounts the incident in his writing. Quek, C., & Sloan, B. Dragon boat tragedy: Victims’ families seek apology. The Straits Times, p. 29; Sloan, B. Panel named to probe deaths of dragon boaters. The Straits Times, p. 54. Quek, Carolyn. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.28. Team had a ‘bad feeling’ on currents. He felt that the presence of life jackets would have made it harder for the paddlers trapped under the pontoon to descend to greater depths where they could then use the force of the stronger currents there to swim out from under the pontoon and reach the surface. A safety inquiry panel was set up on 4 December 2007 to investigate the deaths of the five paddlers and to conceive measures that would help prevent a recurrence of such incidents. The Straits Times, p. 59. Assess risks before saying ‘yes’. Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. The Straits Times, p. 59. The Straits Times, p. 59; Tan, J., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 25). On 16 December 2007, a dragon boating event was held at Bedok Reservoir to honour those who died during the incident, as well as a show of support for the survivors. No single factor responsible for dragon boat tragedy. They narrowed the cause of the incident to a number of contributing factors, which were as follows:[28], The panel then proposed a few preventive measures for the Singapore Dragon Boat Association and their affiliates to consider adopting. Crucially, some later joined the governing Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) to take on important management roles. SINGAPORE DRAGON BOAT ASSOCIATION. Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA), Sport Singapore, 3 Stadium Drive, #01-33, Singapore 397630. To our steers, thank you for giving your time to the team. The bodies of the casualties, their family members, and the surviving rowers were then dispatched on a C130 plane back to Singapore.[21]. “They wanted to strive for better results, for our late teammates,” said Andrew Ng, who was part of the national setup in 2007, and continues to paddle today. Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duan Wu Jie, is a widely observed annual Chinese cultural event in Singapore. Sloan, B. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.14. Singapore working with Cambodia to fly bodies of five Singaporeans home. On 28 November 2007, the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) declared that life jackets would be mandatory for all Singapore dragon boaters, and that the regulation would extend to their participation in overseas races. Following the investigation, the panel issued a report on 30 May 2008, which concluded that a combination of factors was responsible for the tragedy. to express support for the national dragon boat team and rejuvenate the flagging spirit of the sport. It was attended by the victims’ friends and families as well as members of the public. Tan, Judith. The proposed recommendations were as follows:[29]. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.19. Teh, J. L. (2007, December 5). The Straits Times, p. 16; Teh, J. L. (2007, December 5). Ong, Justin. (2007, November 26). Subject Life jackets must be worn at overseas meets now. [13] The search party consisted of volunteers comprising of local fishermen, divers, navy sailors and the police. However, the briefing had been carried out in Khmer, the local language. The Straits Times, p. 59. Tan, J., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 25). In instances where the IDBF guidelines are not met in part or in full, an authoritative figure must assess if the team should still compete and what measures must be adopted to mitigate the risk of participation. No single factor responsible for dragon boat tragedy. (2007, November 28). The Straits Times, p. 1; Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. No dragon boat races abroad yet for national team. Ong, S. F. (2007, November 30). The SDBA and their affiliates should only participate in races that comply with the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) guidelines for race organisation, conduct and safety. Quek, C., Sloan, B., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 27). At least six individuals were confirmed dead in the sea tragedy while others were immediately brought to the hospital. [5], On the day of the race, the team found out that the race distance was actually 1.7 kilometres, instead of the 1.5 kilometres that they were told beforehand. The Straits Times, p. 81. Tan, J., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 25). 29. The police boats present at the scene were only able to rescue 17 of the team Singapore rowers, while 5 rowers remained missing. (2007, November 26). My Singapore News Face of a crocodile in the wetland reserve. The continuous promotion of safety in their respective sport should be a fundamental responsibility of all National Sports Associations (NSAs). The fund dispenses two S$4,000 bursaries each year to NTU dragon boat team members who require financial assistance.21Safety reviewOn 28 November 2007, the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) declared that life jackets would be mandatory for all Singapore dragon boaters, and that the regulation would extend to their participation in overseas races.22Some, however, questioned whether wearing a safety jacket would have helped prevent the tragedy.23 The coach of the ill-fated team, Nasiman Karim, was of the view that life jackets would have been more of a hindrance in the Tonle Sap mishap. The Straits Times, p. 38. Cambodia’s Water Festival regarded as top attraction. "2007 Singapore dragonboat tragedy - In memory of", https://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20071128-38817.html, https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/world/asia/25iht-cambo.1.8467199.html, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-dragonboat-tragedy-escaped-death-5-teammates-9402316, https://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20080530-67870.html, http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes20071129-2.2.55.6, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-dragonboat-tragedy-search-recovery-bodies-9415490, http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/corpcomms2/Documents/2008/Oct/ST_081016_B4_DragonBoatFund.pdf, https://www.sportsingapore.gov.sg/Newsroom/Media-Releases/2008/6/Safety-Inquiry-Reveals-Factors-That-Led-To-Dragon-Boat-Incident, https://wiki.sg/index.php?title=Team_Singapore_dragon_boat_tragedy_(2007)&oldid=1863. Sports and Recreation Assess risks before saying ‘yes’. He recalls that fateful Friday evening of November 23rd, 2007. Arshad, Arlina. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Hasnita A. Majid, & Hong, L. (2008, May 30). Five men are missing after the incident, all members of the new national dragon boat team that was formed about a year ago. On 28 November 2007, the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA) imposed a new regulation in which life jackets had to be worn at all times, inclusive of overseas races.[26]. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.3. Then-Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan delivered a eulogy, followed by the victims’ families and friends.19A memorial “row-out” was conducted on 16 December 2007 at the Bedok Reservoir to express support for the national dragon boat team and rejuvenate the flagging spirit of the sport.20The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) dragon boat community raised S$125,000 for a bursary fund set up in 2008 to honour Poh Boon San and Stephen Loh, two of the victims who were NTU alumni. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.11. The site consists of 4 chapters, which narrate different parts of the incident, complete with illustrations. Armada Dragon Boat Team Singapore added 5 new photos to the album: // Water Training '20 //. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.16.Hasnita A. Majid. Lack of water safety awareness contributed to accident. The Singapore Dragon Boat community will come together to remember the five national dragon boaters who lost their lives in a tragic accident in Cambodia two years ago. Arlina Arshad. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Tan, J., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 25). Liaw, Wy-Cin. Singapore working with Cambodia to fly bodies of five Singaporeans home. The formation of a dragon boat inquiry panel was announced on 4 December 2007. [1] 5 members of the 22-member team drowned as the team was sucked under the pontoon by the strong currents in the Tonle Sap river. Members and team officials were not prepared for strong currents, and were unaware of the hydrography of the Tonle Sap River. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.7. If what she says is true, the authorities and rescue services should seriously look into their response times – especially the helicopter and marine (including divers) search-and-rescue teams. Channel NewsAsia. Later, they decided against wearing life jackets for the race. (2007, November 25). Dragon boat teams ‘warned’ of strong currents at pontoon. It was attended by the victims’ friends and families as well as members of the public. J., & Quek, C. (2007, November 26). Ong, S.F. The Straits Times, p. 44. Assess risks before saying ‘yes’. Life jackets must be worn at overseas meets now. Dragon boat body rejects apology call. Tan, Esther. Tan, J., & Sloan, B. (2007, November 27). The coach, Nasiman Karim, had noticed that the waters of the Tonle Sap looked placid, but that the currents were exceptionally strong.7On the day of the race itself, the team practised paddling in the river for 20 to 30 minutes while wearing life jackets. J., & Quek, C. (2007, November 26). At around noon, the family members of 3 of the victims held Taoist rites for the victims as well. On 29 November 2007, a joint memorial was held at Mandai Crematorium for the 5 deceased rowers. (2008, May 31). They were also unaware that November was the month when the undercurrents of the Tonle Sap River were the strongest. Today, p. 3; Tan, J., & Quek, C. (2008, July 15). The incident involved the Chung Ling High School dragon boat club, where eighteen paddlers took part in dragon boat training at Penang Strait. The Straits Times, p. 29. Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.13. Events 2. 2007 Singapore dragonboat tragedy: The accident 18 Nov 2017 07:00AM (Updated: 07 Nov 2020 07:52PM ) A decade ago, 22 Singaporeans competed in … Team had a ‘bad feeling’ on currents. According to the Vice-president of the Cambodian National Committee for Disaster Management, Dr Nhim Vanda, all participating teams had been briefed that one side of the pontoon was “prone to whirlpools and downwards rips”, making it very dangerous. (2007, December 17). Five missing S’pore rowers feared dead. J., & Quek, C. (2007, November 26). “Strangers join family and friends to say goodbye”. The Straits Times, p. 32. 18. Cambodia’s Water Festival regarded as top attraction. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.33. [23], Members of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) dragon boat team also raised S$125,000 to set up a bursary fund in memory of Poh Boon San and Stephen Loh Soon Ann, who were both NTU students. Traditional dragon boat racing, in China, coincides with the 5th day of the 5th Chinese lunar month (varying from late May to June on the modern Gregorian Calendar). These included the team’s lack of preparation before the race, thus the unfamiliarity with the Tonle Sap river currents and the layout of the dock; insufficient practice with the Cambodian traditional boat used for the race, which was different from the boat typically used by the paddlers; and the team’s lack of established safety procedures such as safety briefings and drills for contingencies in the water. Quek, C., & Sloan, B. (2008, July 18). Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Arlina Arshad. The dragon boat then capsizedand killed six of the eighteen paddlers, including a teacher and several students. It’s celebrated on a smaller scale in Singapore, as compared to China. Bodies of dragon boat paddlers recovered. As the team approached the pontoon which marked their docking point, their boat suddenly collided sideways with the pontoon due to a strong wave (CNA YouTube video). Five others came close to drowning too. The Straits Times, p. 29. c/o Sport Singapore, 3 Stadium Drive, #01-33 Singapore 397630 The Straits Times, p. 1. Claimed as the world’s largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer took two-and-a-half years to build following its ... Singapore’s women’s table tennis team comprising Li Jiawei, Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu fought a series of tough battles ... John Martin, born John Martin Scripps, was the first Westerner hanged in Singapore for murder on 19 April 1996. Cambodia’s Water Festival regarded as top attraction. Dragon boat inquiry panel. [4] The race was part of a three-day Cambodian Water Festival which marked the water flow reversal from the Mekong River into Tonle Sap. NTU dragon boat team raises $125,000 for bursary fund. Quek, C., & Sloan, B. (2007, November 27). On 23 November 2007, a dragon boat carrying a 22-member team representing Singapore overturned in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap river after strong currents caused it to collide with a tugboat moored at a pontoon. It would have been about 40 hours since the boat carrying 22 Singapore dragon boat racers capsized in the river on Friday. For a gut-wrenching and descriptive eye-witness account of the scene in the aftermath of the tragedy, go here.. Sloan, Bronwyn. The panel was chaired by Brigadier-General Bernard Tan Kok Kiang and included a senior counsel, a sports doctor and members of a sports safety committee. The Straits Times, p. 44. “Life jackets must be worn at overseas meets now”. Tan, J. [27] The panel was tasked to review the 23 November 2007 incident, investigating the root cause of the incident as well as identifying any safety lapses which may have been overlooked. The memorial had been opened to members of the public and started at around 12.55pm that day. Tan, E. (2008, October 16). To our steers, thank you for giving your time to the team. (2007, November 26). (2008, May 31). Retrieved from NewspaperSG.The information in this article is valid as at 29 September 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. 13. All 3 bodies were found buried under the mud of the riverbed and had to be dredged up. , p. 1. However, the families of the five paddlers who perished sought an apology from the SBDA for not enforcing the use of life jackets and to bear responsibility for the factors that contributed to the tragedy. Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. Vince Natividad, Rachel Montoya, Rose Antonete Supranes, Johan Tan and Maricel Tan were identified as the fatalities in the boat accident. The SDBA and its affiliates should promote and check the compliance of its teams to the IDBF Water Safety Policy, and the Safety Standing Procedures for dragon boat Clubs and Crews while training. 5 of my teammates didn’t”. The Straits Times, p. 3. The Straits Times, p. 44. The mishap caused several members of the dragon boat team to give up the sport competitively. Dragon boat teams from all over the world participate in the annual Singapore Dragon Boat Race here. A Sunday of sorrow and tears for family members. The Straits Times, p. 3. By having this plan and an annual competitive schedule, the team will know well in advance how to train and prepare for events. (2008, May 31). Tragedy in China- 17 Killed in Dragon Boat Accident. 10. No single factor responsible for dragon boat tragedy. Kallang River On the weekends, you can watch the training of dragon boat clubs on the bank of the Kallang River. The memorial service will take place during the 27th Singapore River Regatta on 21st and 22nd November 2009. “Safety Inquiry Reveals Factors That Led To Dragon Boat Incident”. Team had a ‘bad feeling’ on currents. (2007, November 26). Bodies of dragon boat paddlers recovered. A joint memorial service was held on 29 November 2007 at Mandai Crematorium to mourn the deceased paddlers. However, the team decided to get back into their boats and paddle the rest of the way for extra practice after seeing other teams doing so.[8]. 200 search for missing rowers. The Straits Times, p. 3. (2008, June 4). The formation of a dragon boat inquiry panel was announced on 4 December 2007. Then-Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan delivered a eulogy, followed by the victims’ families and friends. The Straits Times, p. 26; Loh, S., Tan. Age-old tradition lives on in modern Singapore with the Dragon Boat Festival, a traditional Chinese holiday with apocryphal origins dating back to China’s Warring States era. Dragon boat teams ‘warned’ of strong currents at pontoon. To our coach Wee Jin Tan, for planning training in ways unimaginable. The bodies were then brought to Calmette Hospital’s morgue, where team captain Yeo Chin Hwei and the family members of the casualties were tasked to identify their loved ones. Tan, J., & Song, S. (2008, June 4). Channel NewsAsia. [6] They practised paddling in the river for 20 to 30 minutes while wearing life jackets but later decided to forego the life jackets for the race as it inhibited their movements and may affect their performance. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.22. Five missing S’pore rowers feared dead. [24] The bursary fund was officially launched on 15 October 2008, during the annual NTU Sports Appreciation Night. Arshad, Arlina. , p. 59; Tan, J., & Liaw, W. (2007, November 25). The inquiry did not identify the absence of life jackets as a cause of the tragedy. Local rescue efforts. (2007, November 27). (2008, May 31). Five members of the team were sucked under the pontoon by the water currents and lost their lives.1 The Singapore team was participating in the 1.5-kilometre boat race held as part of Cambodia’s annual Water Festival.2BackgroundDragon boating is an integral facet of Cambodia’s much-celebrated annual Water Festival, which is locally known as Bon Om Tuk. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.25. Lee, H. C., & Jaganathan, J. [17] The last two bodies to surface were identified as Poh Boon San and Reuben Kee En Rui. 1. He felt that the presence of life jackets would have made it harder for the paddlers trapped under the pontoon to descend to greater depths where they could then use the force of the stronger currents there to swim out from under the pontoon and reach the surface.24A safety inquiry panel was set up on 4 December 2007 to investigate the deaths of the five paddlers and to conceive measures that would help prevent a recurrence of such incidents.25 The panel was chaired by Brigadier-General Bernard Tan Kok Kiang and included a senior counsel, a sports doctor and members of a sports safety committee.26Following the investigation, the panel issued a report on 30 May 2008, which concluded that a combination of factors was responsible for the tragedy.27 These included the team’s lack of preparation before the race, thus the unfamiliarity with the Tonle Sap river currents and the layout of the dock; insufficient practice with the Cambodian traditional boat used for the race, which was different from the boat typically used by the paddlers; and the team’s lack of established safety procedures such as safety briefings and drills for contingencies in the water.28The panel concluded that the Cambodian organisers had not adhered to the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) guidelines.29 It recommended that Singapore’s dragon boat teams only compete in events that comply with IDBF standards; if events do not follow IDBF guidelines, the SDBA would assess the risks before deciding on participation.30The inquiry did not identify the absence of life jackets as a cause of the tragedy.31 However, the families of the five paddlers who perished sought an apology from the SBDA for not enforcing the use of life jackets and to bear responsibility for the factors that contributed to the tragedy.32 The SBDA declined to assume responsibility for the mishap, and cited the findings of the inquiry panel as exonerating them from any fault.33Legacy of the tragedyThe SDBA did not field a team in any major dragon boating tournament in 2008. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.20. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.35. [7], After they had completed the race, the Singapore team was initially in a safety vessel which was supposed to bring them back to the docking point. The Straits Times, p. 26. More importantly, the SDBA should also set guidelines and SOPs for overseas events so that thorough preparations can take place. (2007, November 29). [15], On 25 November 2007, the first body was recovered by the search party after nearly 40 hours of combing the river. Assess risks before saying ‘yes’. Tan, Mindy. (2008, May 31). “Bodies of dragon boat paddlers recovered”. The Straits Times, p. 1. The Straits Times, p. 36. On 23 November 2007, a dragon boat carrying a 22-member team representing Singapore overturned in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap river after strong currents caused it to collide with a tugboat moored at a pontoon. The team was unfamiliar with the conditions of the race, the site of the race and the equipment provided for them to race with. On the afternoon of 24 November 2007, an elite eight-man team from Singapore’s Naval Diving Unit joined the search, utilising special sonar equipment to scan the riverbed.15After a 40-hour search, the bodies of the five casualties were found by the Cambodians on the morning of 25 November 2007.16 They were brought to Calmette Hospital, where the bodies were identified by grief-stricken family members who had arrived in Cambodia the evening before.17 The bereaved families returned to Singapore with the bodies of the deceased paddlers on the night of 26 November 2007, after conducting rituals at the site of the tragedy.18MemorialA joint memorial service was held on 29 November 2007 at Mandai Crematorium to mourn the deceased paddlers. 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Out in Khmer, the family members, May 30 ) have feedback on this infopedia article: boat... Straits Times, p. 59 ; Tan, J., & Jaganathan, J over! Incident involved the Chung Ling High School dragon boat team coach recounts freak accident.... ; Sloan, B culture of the scene were only able to ascertain from sources! ; Loh, S., Tan Natividad, Rachel Montoya, Rose Supranes. Cambodia ’ s water Festival regarded as top attraction W. ( 2007, November 25 ) mission commander any dragon!, giving safety briefings or safety drills incident, complete with illustrations mishap several! Olympic silver paddlers ”, navy sailors and the Chinese influence over Singapore ’ s water Festival regarded as attraction.

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