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Singaporean killed in skydiving mishap had just moved to Sydney

July 16, 2017 2:25 PM
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Singaporean killed in skydiving mishap had just moved to Sydney

SINGAPORE — Mario Low Ke Wei was an adventurous, jovial individual who loved to fish, and had recently moved to Sydney for work.

The 29-year-old, who was killed in an accident on Saturday (July 15) during a tandem skydiving in Australia, worked at Credit Suisse and was a graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, according to his Facebook account.

Retiree William Woon, 60, one of Mr Low’s fishing buddies, described him as a “fantastic and well-behaved young man”. Both of them had gone on “countless” fishing expeditions together since six years ago, most recently to the Maldives for a week in December.

Mr Woon told TODAY that Low had moved to Sydney last month for work, after his boss at Credit Suisse asked if anyone was interested to, and that “he (Low) wanted to make a try there”. “All my fishing friends loved him so much, and now we really miss him. It’s so sad,” Mr Woon added.

Low’s former classmate Clinton Zheng, 28, from Maris Stella High School, told TODAY that he was “a very athletic individual, jovial and fit”.

“He was always one of the leaders when we were playing basketball games against each other during secondary school days,” added Mr Zheng, who works in the venture capital industry.

Mr Dustin Leonard, who was on the aircraft with Low and skydived just before the Singaporean and his 63-year-old instructor, said he had shaken Low’s hand before they jumped, and that conditions were normal during the jump.

\“If (the wind is) too strong, they don’t allow skydivers to jump, but that wasn’t the case (on Saturday). It was completely fine,” the Australian said in a phone call from Sydney. “There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It extremely surprised me that it happened ... You’re more likely to die in a car accident than anything else.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Singapore High Commission in Canberra was “in touch with the Singaporean’s family to render consular assistance”.

In a statement to the Australian media, Sydney Skydivers, the company that organised the jump, said the skydiving the two men had done “was not especially challenging for a highly experienced instructor”.

It added that the instructor, who also died in the accident, had nearly 30 years’ experience and had done nearly 10,000 skydives.

The pair had taken off from Sydney Skydiver’s centre, which was to be their landing zone, reported Australia’s Nine News. They ended up on a driveway of a home about one kilometre away instead, and about 80 km south-west of Sydney.

“The jump was from normal height, and it isn’t yet clear what occurred,” Sydney Skydivers said in its statement, adding: “This is the first fatality involving a first orientation tandem skydive the company has had in over 40 years of operation and is an extremely rare incident.”

The firm said it will provide support to staff, skydivers and those involved at the crash scene. Skydives were cancelled on Sunday out of respect.


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