The search for the Singaporean diver who went missing in the Indonesian waters around Gili Lawa on Thursday (Jul 13) is now in its fifth day, and the area has been expanded to cover the waters off Pulau Sangeang and Pulau Kepala. Rinta Paul Mukkam, 40, was last seen on a diving trip near Komodo Island, but she did not surface with the rest of her 15-strong group after a dive.
Search efforts started that same day, and her brother came forward on social media to ask for anyone with information to help out. About 25 dive operators and 21 personnel from Indonesian search and rescue agency Basarnas are involved in the rescue efforts. The manager of Komodo Dive Centre, which is also participating in the search, has revealed that the reward is 10,000,000 rupiah (S$1,000).
But the rescue operation has yet to find success, prompting family friend Srinesh Balakrishnan to set up crowdfunding campaigns on GoGetFunding and Give.Asia on Saturday (Jul 15). Both are attempts to raise funds to “pay for further air and sea search support”, as the family has been paying for the cost of the search helicopter out of their own pocket. The former has raised about $140,805 so far, while the latter has raised $1,507.
He aims to raise $350,000 altogether, claiming that the cost of booking a helicopter a day is about US$60,000 (S$82,000). In an update posted today (Jul 17), he stated that yesterday’s search was once again unsuccessful, and the family will be “focusing their efforts towards obtaining more sea craft and divers to assist in the recovery efforts”.
Roy Paul Mukkam, her brother, has also appealed to the Indonesian government for assistance.