SINGAPORE: The search for a 64-year-old woman who fell overboard from a cruise ship into the Singapore Strait on Monday continues, according to a statement from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) released on Tuesday (1 Aug).
The missing woman has been identified as Madam Reeta Sahani, from India, who was on a four-day cruise aboard the Spectrum of the Seas with her husband, Mr Jakesh Sahani, 70.
Her son, Mr Vivek Sahani, the co-founder of the Goila Butter Chicken restaurant chain, posted an Instagram message acknowledging the devastating news that his mother is presumed dead.
“Unfortunately, with the footage we have, we have learned that my mother has passed away,” he said.
In an eerie twist of fate, Tuesday also happened to be Madam Reeta’s birthday.
Vivek Sahani thanked the Ministry of External Affairs India, Prime Minister’s Office India, and Dr S Jaishankar, India Minister of External Affairs, for their support during the ordeal.
Two MPA patrol craft, 22 commercial vessels, the Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Republic of Singapore Navy have been aiding in the search, which covers the stretch of Singapore port waters and the Singapore Strait.
In addition, the Singapore Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) has been coordinating its efforts with Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, which has deployed three crafts. MRCC continues to issue navigational safety broadcasts to vessels in the Singapore Strait to help locate the missing passenger.
The incident occurred at about 7:50 am on July 31, 2023, when the MRCC was notified that a passenger on the Cyprus-flagged Spectrum of the Seas had fallen overboard while en route to Singapore from Penang.
Following the incident, the ship docked in Singapore to assist in the investigations, before being permitted to depart at 4:30 pm for Vietnam.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing.