The Police Coast Guard had picked up an 18-year-old recruit from the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) on Pulau Tekong as he attempted to swim out of the island towards mainland Singapore. Then The Police Coast Guard handed him back to the authorities at the training centre. This incident took place in last December and seems to be the first case that ever happened so far. The recruit made his attempt at night, but it is uncertain how far he swam previous to he was spotted. According to the Mindef spokesman Colonel Desmond Tan, the man was found on the Kechil Land Link, a narrow piece of land connecting Pulau Tekong and Pulau Tekong Kechil.
Tan just told that the recruit has been 'disciplinarily dealt with' and supposed to be a science student from Raffles Institution. As well, he declined to speak what extra measures have been put in place or if the recruit is in active service or not. As the recruit had not taken permission before leaving the camp, he could have been affirmed as being absent without authorized leave, an offence under military law punishable with a jail term in the confinement barracks of up to 2 years. People who knew this recruit stated that he was soft-spoken but articulate and kept a low profile. In early December he had enlisted, and was afterward undergoing an 8-week-long programme known as the Physical Training Preparatory (PTP) phase. The recruits who come under the programme are destined to lift up their physical fitness prior to the 9-week Basic Military training programme.