This first group, many of whom are instructors, divemasters and former Navy divers, have extensive diving experience in the local waters. They form a pioneer batch of guides to train future ReefX volunteers.

Unexpected biodiversity

Several divers told CNA that they had previously gone scuba diving abroad but found a new appreciation for Pulau Hantu when borders around the world closed due to COVID-19.

For award-winning photographer Mok Wai Ho, it was the first dive on Hang Tu Island.

Tasked with photographing diving volunteers at work, he admitted he was “worried” due to notoriously poor visibility in Singapore’s waters.

“Poor visibility is the bane of photography, so I was nervous because I didn’t know what the conditions were like,” he said.

“But the moment I got in the water, I thought, ‘It’s not that bad!'”

Mok, who has dived extensively around the world, said the biodiversity here is richer than expected.

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