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National Sailing Centre suspends all water activities after crocodile sightings

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Crocodile sighted in waters off East Coast Park

The National Sailing Centre (NSC) has suspended all its water activities after a crocodile was sighted in the waters off East Coast Park on Monday.

A spokesman for the NSC told The Straits Times yesterday that contractors at a construction area next to the NSC saw a crocodile on Monday afternoon.

About 120 sailors were affected when water activities were ceased that day.

"The Singapore Sailing Federation informed the National Parks Board immediately and called off all water training immediately," said the spokesman.

"As the safety of the participants is our priority, on-water activities will be ceased until further notice."

The spokesman said this is the first time a crocodile has been sighted near the sailing centre.

Mr Chia Seng Jiang, group director of parks at NParks, told ST that NParks was alerted on Monday and yesterday to sightings of a crocodile in the waters near the National Sailing Centre.

"It was likely an estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)," he said. "Estuarine crocodiles are known to swim freely in the waters between Singapore and Malaysia."

NParks is working with the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to monitor the sightings, catch and translocate the crocodile.

Worried parents shared the information in their WhatsApp group chats, asking about the safety of their children.

A parent who declined to be named told ST on Monday that the NSC prevented all kids from launching their craft in the water that day.

"All these kids shouldn't be allowed to sail in the area unless that crocodile is relocated," he said.

He added that there is a sailing regatta coming up next weekend involving 200 schoolkids at the NSC.

"Many of the parents are very worried now," he said. "Because this is a National Ranking regatta, they fear they will be forced to put their kids in harm's way."

Yesterday, signs were put up at the beach near the NSC advising beachgoers on what to do if they encounter a crocodile.

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