Widow of commercial diver opens up about their relationship, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Widow of commercial diver opens up about their relationship

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Widow of commercial diver opens up about their relationship, his death

When she heard that her husband's body had been found, Ms Joycelyn Li was so devastated, she tried banging her head against the wall of her living room to ease the pain she felt in her heart.

With her voice wavering and tears in her eyes, the 34-year-old wife of Mr Jake Seet, the commercial diver who went missing on Saturday, told The New Paper: "It is a huge nightmare I cannot wake up from. I just want Jake to be there for me.

"Who am I going to hug every night? Who is going to text me every now and then to check on me? Who is going to buy my favourite food when I have cravings at night?"

"It broke me so much that I was thinking of following him," she added.

Mr Seet, 33, a freelance commercial diver, had been conducting underwater operations for a vessel called Jork at the Western Anchorage near Sentosa when he was reported missing.

His body was found on Monday after a three-day search by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Speaking publicly for the first time since her husband's death at his wake in Pasir Ris yesterday, Ms Li recalled how her younger son had told her, upon seeing the closed casket: "I don't want daddy to lie inside and not come out. I like daddy."

Ms Li has lost weight since receiving the terrible news.

She said: "I can't swallow, because whenever I close my eyes, I will think of that last moment, how painful his death was."

She is still coming to terms with the sudden loss of her husband.

Ms Li, who works in an Australian school here, said: "I don't get to send him off for the last time because I am pregnant."


She is expected to give birth to a girl next month. Her doctor has advised her against seeing her husband's body, saying it would not be good for the baby.

Turning her attention to happier times, Ms Li related how she and her husband first met, 16 years ago, in a bar in Pasir Ris Park.

She said Mr Seet, who was a bartender then, would "accidentally" drop a glass to draw her attention. She was a waitress in the bar.

Though she was initially unimpressed by his antics, his persistence eventually won her heart.

The couple had to keep their relationship a secret at the start.

Ms Li, who was 18 when she first met Mr Seet, said: "We were too young to let our parents know we were dating.

"When I brought Jake home to meet my parents, they were shocked to see him because he was very fair and had long hair. They thought I was going out with a butch girl."

They eventually got married in 2009, when she was 24.

Ms Li had their first child, now six, when she was 27.

Three years later, she gave birth to another son, aged three.

It had been Mr Seet's idea to name their daughter Jewel, said Ms Li.

"Jake was so looking forward to a girl... He so wanted to carry her," she said.

On the morning of Mr Seet's disappearance, Ms Li said she had texted her husband that she would be heading to Giant to purchase a set of drawers for their baby.

When he heard this, Mr Seet, worried that his wife would hurt herself carrying a heavy object, was adamant she wait for him to purchase it.

His last message to her was: "If you do it yourself and something happens, I will kill myself... I will never forgive myself."

This was around noon.

Before that, Ms Li had asked her husband what he was doing, to which Mr Seet joked that he was suntanning to join Manhunt Singapore.

Little did she know that it would be their last conversation.

At 10pm that night, the family received a visit from representatives of Mr Seet's company, Mola Subsea Services, who notified them of his disappearance.


Ms Li said she was not satisfied by the company's explanations as they were not shown actual footage from the camera mounted on Mr Seet's helmet, and were only described scenes from it by the company.

The Ministry of Manpower said on Tuesday that it is investigating the incident.

Mr Seet's older sister, Ms Jacqueline Seet, 37, said she was touched by the efforts of people in helping the family.

As Mr Seet was a freelancer and had no insurance coverage, two family friends started a crowdfunding project to raise money for the family.

As of 8pm yesterday, the page had raised nearly $60,000.

"I sincerely thank all who have helped us so far, be it through donations or standing by her (Ms Li), and especially those who even came down to the wake to pay their respects," Ms Seet said.