Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NSF's death a misadventure

By Shaffiq Alkhatib | Posted: 30 November 2010 1808 2010 1808 hrs

SINGAPORE: State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid has recorded a verdict of misadventure in the death of a full-time national serviceman on a Republic of Singapore Navy ship last year.

Lance Corporal (LCP) Mar Teng Fong asphyxiated and suffered chest injuries after he was trapped between a sliding door and a door frame in an engine room onboard the landing ship tank (LST) RSS Persistence on November 18.

The incident happened in the waters off Changi Naval Base.

The LST is the same one that was sent to the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrols and to Meulaboh in Indonesia to aid relief efforts when the deadly 2004 tsunami hit the region.

The 20-year-old had earlier reported for engineering watch duty at the ship's Machinery Control Room at 11.25pm on November 17, 2009.

He was assigned to check the steering gear compartment and the machinery at the engine room that evening, a routine that usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.

First Sergeant Yeo Wen Han was asked to look for LCP Mar when he was taking a longer time than usual to complete his round.

He found the engineering naval specialist unconscious in the engine room.

In a desperate attempt, LCP Mar was evacuated to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) via helicopter and arrived at 1.15am.

He was declared dead at SGH three days later, two weeks before he completed his national service.

The court heard that the hydraulic watertight sliding doors can be opened and closed by levers located on both sides of the wall.

The door can also be operated by buttons located at a separate control panel in the ship.

The accident remains a mystery as a check conducted found that the seals covering the buttons were intact, indicating that nobody had pressed them by accident.

State Coroner Imran also found that the door was in working condition and was operating like how it was supposed to.

Speaking to reporters after the inquiry, LCP Mar's family members said that they were saddened by the incident.

They said that he died about two weeks before his Operationally Ready Date and had intended to sign on with the military after doing so.

MINDEF toughens security

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has beefed up security following LCP Mar's death.

MINDEF said the Navy has since installed a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera at each of the ship's hydraulic doors.

Personnel conducting checks will also have to inform the supervisor before entering or exiting the hydraulic doors.

The ministry said this is to enhance the monitoring of personnel movement.

- CNA/fa

Sunday, November 22, 2009

20—year—old NSman dies after being found unconscious

Channel NewsAsia - Sunday, November 22

SINGAPORE: A 20—year—old full—time National Serviceman died at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Saturday afternoon.

Lance Corporal Mar Teng Fong, an engineering systems specialist, was found unconscious on the navy’s RSS Persistence on Wednesday. A fellow serviceman found him lying between a hydraulic sliding door and its door frame, after he failed to return from a routine check.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said Lance Corporal Mar was then taken to SGH in a helicopter where he was in intensive care.

MINDEF added that he was given immediate medical attention on board the ship, which was out at sea for training. A Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) medical doctor and a medic continued to resuscitate him on board the helicopter.

MINDEF and the SAF extend their deepest condolences to the family, and

Monday, November 16, 2009

RSAF serviceman dies after road accident in US

Channel NewsAsia - Tuesday, November 17 SINGAPORE:

A 21—year—old regular serviceman from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has died, following a road accident along a highway in North Florida, United States.

Lieutenant (LTA) Chee Zhi Hao and two other RSAF servicemen were returning from a visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida on 15 November at about 12.10pm (16 November, 2.10am Singapore time) when the car they were travelling in left the right side of the road and crashed into a parked truck.

The three servicemen, all of whom are pilot trainees, were attending the Initial Entry to Rotary Wing Course in the US Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, Alabama, which had organised the visit to the museum.

LTA Chee was evacuated by air to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he received immediate medical attention. He was pronounced dead at about 9.20pm local time (11.20am Singapore time).

One of the servicemen, LTA Lim Jun Kai, 23, was taken to and warded at Florida’s Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and is now in stable condition. The other serviceman, LTA Ingkiriwang Wei Zhi Reeve, 22, has been discharged after receiving treatment in another hospital.

The US authorities are investigating the accident.

Monday, October 26, 2009

SAF Warrant Officer dies in US

Mon, Oct 26, 2009

A regular serviceman from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has died in Oklahoma, USA after he was found motionless along a lake.

First Warrant Officer (1WO) S. Thivvianathan was on a self-paced run along the Old Cedar Lake on Sunday afternoon (US time) with other servicemen, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a news release.

The 51-year-old regular was found at about 4pm US time by a local resident, who performed CPR on him. He was subsequently evacuated by ambulance to the nearby Reynolds Army Community Hospital, and pronounced dead there.

LTC Leow Poh Meng, Commanding Officer of SAF Transport Hub (West), said: "1WO Thivvianathan was well regarded by his peers and superiors. To his men, he was a mentor and a friend."

1WO Thivvianathan, a transport supervisor, was in Oklahoma as part of an advance logistics party which arrived on October 1, in support of SAF training there.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pinned down by vehicle

Channel NewsAsia - Saturday, July 4
SINGAPORE: Full—time National Serviceman Second Lieutenant (2LT) Nicholas Chan Wei Kit died in hospital on Friday after a Land Rover he was inspecting rolled backwards and hit him, pinning him under the vehicle.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence says 2LT Chan, a Motor Transport Officer, was taking delivery of the SAF Land Rover in Seletar Camp at about 11.30am when the incident happened.

A recovery vehicle was activated half an hour later and managed to lift the Land Rover.

A medical team from the Seletar Medical Centre attempted to resuscitate 2LT Chan immediately. He was sent to Changi General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1.07pm.

Mindef and the SAF extend their deepest condolences to the family of the late 2LT Chan.

Mindef says it will assist the family in their time of grief. It is also investigating the incident.

— CNA/ir

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SAF regular dies in Taiwan

Channel NewsAsia - Tuesday, June 16 SINGAPORE: A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular serviceman, who was in Taiwan to support the SAF’s training there, has died.

A statement by Singapore’s Defence Ministry says First Sergeant Ang Joo Pin was found motionless in his bunk in a Taiwanese military facility on Monday at 7.15am.

He was given immediate medical attention by a SAF senior medic and efforts to resuscitate him continued en route to the hospital.

The 30—year—old ammunition technician arrived at the hospital at about 7.35am and was pronounced dead five minutes later.

MINDEF says it will assist the family in their time of grief and is investigating the incident.

— CNA/yt

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SAF serviceman killed in parachute jump

Channel NewsAsia - Thursday, May 21 SINGAPORE: A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular serviceman was killed during a parachute freefall training session in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said First Warrant Officer (1WO) Tan Poh Eng was part of a six—man team that jumped off a Republic of Singapore Air Force C—130 aircraft at a height of 12500 feet to conduct a formation jump.

When the formation broke off at 3500 feet to deploy their parachutes, 1WO Tan, 53, spiralled downwards to the ground.

He was found unconscious at about 4.45pm (Singapore time), and given immediate medical attention by an SAF doctor and a medic on—site.

1WO Tan was heli—evacuated at 5.15pm and arrived at about 5.35pm at the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

The parachute jump instructor from the Commando Training Institute was pronounced dead at 5.57pm in the hospital.

Mindef and the SAF extend their deepest condolences to the family of the late 1WO Tan and is investigating the incident. All SAF freefall training has been temporarily suspended.