SINGAPORE: The official search for missing Singaporean diver Rinta Paul Mukkam has been called off after the 10-day operation proved unsuccessful.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) told Channel NewsAsia on Sunday (Jul 23) that the search was “closed” on Saturday.
“The search was supposed to be seven days long, but we added three days after a request from the Mukkam family to extend the search,” BASARNAS communications official Roni Sikki said.
However, Mr Sikki said the search will resume if “signs of death” are discovered: “If her diving apparatus or anything else is found, we will reopen the search.”
Ms Mukkam’s brother Roy told Channel NewsAsia that he has no plans to extend search operations via other channels, adding that he will return to Singapore on Sunday.
“However, people on the ground from a group called Emergency Komodo will still be keeping an eye out,” he said.
Mr Srinesh Balakrishnan, a family friend who started fundraising efforts to support search and rescue operations, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday: “I sincerely hope we can post something more positive by Sunday.”
Ms Mukkam was reported missing on Jul 13 after going on a diving trip near Indonesia’s Komodo Island.
Four days later, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had requested Indonesian authorities to commit more resources – including a police speedboat and navy vessel – to search operations.
It also said then that it would continue to offer consular assistance to Ms Mukkam's next-of-kin and support ongoing search operations.