Aquaman’s Adventures: From Fishing With Dad To Navy To Finding Wrecks, Lifestyle News


Regardless of the recent viral Facebook post that placed Marina Bay Sands in the US state of Tennessee, Singapore has probably been most famous for being a maritime hub since the 1800s.

And who would have thought that our waters also concealed submerged treasures! On June 16, the National Heritage Board and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute announced that two wrecks had been located: the first, dating from the 14th century, had been detected about 100m northwest of Pedra Branca. The second, dating from the end of the 18th century, was found about 300 m east of the same island.

Among the wrecks, divers discovered Chinese ceramics as well as a variety of artifacts, including betel nut slicers, medallions and figurines.

But this project has been in the making for a long time. According to a Facebook post (above) by Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, “a team of divers spent several years gently and carefully excavating this hidden treasure, hitherto unknown for many years. hundreds of years “.

He added: “The National Heritage Council and ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute are working to uncover the stories behind these wrecks and to do further archaeological research about them.”

And thanks to another Facebook post (above), we now know the identity of the diver featured in an image from ISEAS that was donated to news posts – a certain Matthias Goh.

“Proud, privileged and honored to be part of this underwater archaeological project of a few wrecks found near Pedra Branca. The long days, heavy transport and strong currents have definitely paid off to be part of this historic moment in the Singapore history books, ”he writes. .

In a postscript, Matthias states: “I am the diver featured in the underwater photo I can’t help but be proud even though there is no face, but those who have dived with me know that I only have one outfit that I always dive with, my rash guard Gul. “

We met Matthias and dove deep with this 32 year old “Aquaman” in his lifelong love of the sea, his passion for diving and the incredible underwater discovery he was lucky enough to be a part of.

Waseh! It’s pretty cool that you are a diver, but now you can also flex you have found a treasure leh.

A good friend and former colleague at RWS SEA Aquarium, Zulfli Mazlan, asked me if I was interested in a diving project that would only take place once in a lifetime.

It didn’t reveal much but I immediately thought to myself, “A once in a lifetime dive – I don’t care what that is, sign me up!” Plus, I trusted Zul so I didn’t care what it was as long as we were in the same boat together.

How did the discovery go?

We were really lucky. The wreckage was accidentally discovered by commercial divers who were in the area recovering a sunken barge and brought the finds to [maritime archaeologist] Dr Michael Flecker and Michael Ng of ISEAS on porcelain they found in the area.

We can tell from your Instagram and Facebook that diving is life! How did your passion for the sea come about and what did it teach you?

Well, from a young age I have always been in love with the ocean because my dad (above) had a boat and he started fishing for me when I was about 4 or 5, so that started it all.

I started diving when I was 16, 17 with my dad. I’m 32 this year, so it’s been about 16 now. I started with a local dive shop called Blue Reef Scuba, and have been diving with them recreationally ever since.

I worked with RWS SEA Aquarium for a few years before going for a short stint in commercial diving. So yeah, I guess diving is really something I’m going to do for as long as my body can handle it!

Going to places and having the opportunity to dive in remote places in Asia has definitely helped me to be more independent and self-sufficient on land and underwater, because even though we dive together, I take it upon myself to ” be competent to be able to help. myself underwater and help my dive buddy when needed.

And it seems that you are inextricably linked to the sea because, what a coincidence – you did your national service in the Navy! Are there any takeaways from your time as a radar specialist there?

Definitely the great people I have had the opportunity to humiliate to spend my time with. Oh, and the realization that the oceans are big – really big!

Brother a little leh – can you share some of the lesser known dive spots around Singapore?

I think these days, due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions, our local diving enthusiasts have had no choice but to shift their need for underwater exploration to our local islands like Pulau. Hantu, Sisters Island and Pulau Jong.

If I had the chance I would really like to dive at Raffles Lighthouse what I heard is amazing but it is restricted so no diving there for the general public.

What is the best part of Singapore’s waters?

Best part? Okay, before Covid-19 a lot of us were saying “Singapore’s waters are not clear, what’s to see, nothing but garbage” but Covid-19 has forced a lot of ‘individuals to explore our local waters even more, and I’m proud to say that surprisingly enough, the biodiversity in Singapore’s waters is incredible!

We can always afford to take better care of our environment, especially the waters around Singapore. In what ways can we help?

Well, I guess there’s not much we can do with how our waters look in terms of visibility due to the activity of our ports (and we need our ports for our economy).

If the majority of us make a conscious effort not to throw litter, to not throw our disposable masks in the water, that would help gradually. Ultimately, I believe it all starts with awareness and education at a young age – at home, at school.

Our generation and future generations have the power to improve the conditions of our water. Only we can do it. The question is whether the majority of the population sees the need and the importance of doing so.

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