Superyacht Captain Rescues Drowning Man from Sinking Car at Sentosa Cove

A 36-year-old man crashed his car into the sea in Sentosa Cove yesterday, before he was rescued by the captain of a yacht that was moored nearby.

The man was taken to hospital and later arrested for criminal trespass and a rash act causing hurt, police said. He had been involved in an accident with a Sentosa ranger.

An eyewitness, Mr Ang Chee Boon, 56, told The Straits Times that he was on a boat with his skipper when they saw two rangers on motorcycles pursuing a white car.

“Suddenly, we heard a very loud noise and we saw the car going through the barriers and into the sea,” said Mr Ang, who runs a boat chartering company.

The police said in a statement that they were informed at 2.08pm of a traffic accident involving a car and a Sentosa ranger on Sentosa.

The driver of the car was rescued from the vehicle and was taken to Singapore General Hospital along with the Sentosa ranger, who suffered minor injuries, the police said.

Mr Ang saw a man on a nearby yacht jump into the sea to rescue the driver. “The man was very fast, very good,” he said.

The rescuer was 36-year-old David Roberts, whose yacht happened to be near the spot where the car plunged into the sea.

“I saw the motorbikes racing by with their sirens,” said the super- yacht captain. “I looked to see what was going on and saw the car floating in the water.”

Mr Roberts then stripped down and swam across to the sinking car.

“By then, the car had already sunk to the bottom,” he said. “I tried to open the doors, but I couldn’t.”

He managed to reach in through a small opening in one of the windows and unbuckle the man’s seat belt, but could not pull him out.

He resurfaced and saw some men looking on from the road near the broken barrier. “I asked those guys to give me a rock or something to break one of the windows,” he said.

One of the men loosened a stone from the ground and passed it to him. Mr Roberts then broke one of the windows and rescued the man in “a couple of minutes”.

He gave the man oxygen, which he got from one of the boats nearby. The man was conscious when he first got out of the water, but began slipping in and out of consciousness, he said.

Mr Roberts, who has been in Singapore with his yacht since March, is from South Africa, where he has been involved in rescue operations.

A spokesman for Sentosa Development Corporation told The Straits Times that Sentosa rangers attended to the incident at about 2pm. “The Singapore Police Force, Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force were immediately activated, and the driver has been rescued,” said the spokesman.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing.