05 Oct 2016 16:43
Marine life at the Underwater World Singapore. (Photo: Ngau Kai Yan)
SINGAPORE: An Underwater World Singapore (UWS) diver was killed on Tuesday (Oct 4) after he was stung in the chest by a stingray.
In a statement on Wednesday, Haw Par Corporation confirmed that Mr Philip Chan, 62, “was injured in the chest by a stingray” while preparing marine life for transfer to a new aquarium. He was the senior supervisor of UWS’ curatorial department.
“He died from his injury a few hours later at Singapore General Hospital (SGH),” the statement added.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent an ambulance on Tuesday afternoon to UWS at around 2.20pm. Upon arrival, paramedics found Mr Chan lying near the venue’s entrance and assessed the situation before conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him.
He was then taken to SGH and paramedics continued to perform CPR during the journey, SCDF said.
Although UWS has ceased operations since Jun 26, Mr Chan was one of the 10 staff who stayed on to care for the animals while suitable homes were sought out for them, Haw Par Corporation said.
“He was a veteran diver, aquarist and animal caregiver who had been caring for the aquatic animals at UWS since its opening in 1991,” it added.
“The management and staff at Haw Par Corporation are deeply saddened by the loss of a long-time staff and colleague and express our condolences to the family of Mr Chan. Haw Par is providing all possible support and assistance to Mr Chan’s family in this time of difficulty.”
Haw Par said it is assisting the authorities with investigations and have suspended the animal transfer programme at UWS.
Philip Chan was leading a team of divers who were transporting sea creatures. AFP Photo
Wildlife conservation expert Steve Irwin was famously killed by a stingray in 2006 during a diving expedition off the Great Barrier Reef. He was struck in the chest by the stingray’s barb.