Crocodiles and sharks seen off Woodlands

My Paper AsiaOne 20 Jun 16;

Crocodiles and sharks have been sighted lurking in the sea off Woodlands Waterfront Park, triggering concern about the safety of the public, especially children who like to hunt for crabs along the shore, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Although the park's jetty and promenade are fenced off from the waters of the Strait of Johor with railings, the "no swimming" notices posted along these stretches carry no warnings about sharks or crocodiles.

But just two weeks ago, an angler fishing at the jetty snared a crocodile which had bitten on his fish hook, reported the Chinese evening daily.

"The fishing rod was suddenly yanked by a huge force. On closer look, I realised it was a crocodile about 3m long that was caught," Suhairi told the newspaper on Saturday.

"I had a tug of war with it for about three minutes before it broke away, snapping the line," added the 27-year-old.

A video clip of the incident showed the angler using all his strength to pull the crocodile on shore but the reptile proved too strong for him.

Mr Suhairi said he had seen three crocodiles swimming in the area before the incident.

Chen Yongping, 60, had also seen two crocodiles in the waters and wondered whether there was a crocodile habitat near the park.

The cleaner said he feared especially for the safety of those who come into the waters in kayaks from Sembawang.

"They would be in danger if they run into crocodiles," he told Shin Min.

Francis Toh, a frequent visitor to the park, said children, mostly in small groups, are often seen scouring for crabs on the marshland bordering the sea.

Shin Min noted that the 1m-high barricade would be easy for children to climb over, and the muddy shore, strewn with stones of all sizes, just lies beyond some thickets.

But it is hard to tell the depth of the waters at the sea's edge, it pointed out.

Mr Chen said besides crocodiles, sharks are also often spotted in the area.

"At least six baby sharks have been caught this year," he noted.