Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A Tribute to A Hero : Rest In Peace Kevin Tan

On Deepavali afternoon, some of us were told of a shocking news. Kevin Tan, Adele Cheah (of Quick Release Adventure) husband, passed away in a drowning tragedy while trying to save a man in distress at a waterfall area in Bentong. 
My interaction with Kevin is limited but I soon found out that this man were responsible for a few website masterpiece that I frequent. I soon found out that this man is no ordinary man, as he is multi-talented and a youth leader in his church. More so, he is a father to two beautiful children and husband to a wonderful friend, Adele. 
Soon, details of the incident were shared within a close circle of friends and the narration was confirmed and provided by Amos, his close friend and the man that was with him during the outing with 10 tourists from Singapore seeking to experience Malaysia's best waterfalls and trails. 
It did not take long for many of us to feel the loss, and what more, to know the cause of his passing was his heroic deed to save another. 
The national news agency, Bernama shared a rather inaccurate news of his untimely passing and this morning, Mohan Marathon shared this newspaper cutting with me from Singapore. This is a more accurate report of his passing. Link to the news : Here

As I write this blog entry down, the last service for Kev is ongoing. He will be creamated today and will be sorely missed. 
Kevin Tan 
Do offer a prayer to this great heroic man, that went beyond his call of duty to save another in distress. 
Do offer a prayer to this great heroic man's family, to Adele, Zoe and Lucas, for their loss of their beloved husband and father, that they will remain strong in this trying time. 

"It takes a strong man to save himself. But a great man to save another - Dr. @Heart_KL"

More of Kevin's legacy, as told by Chan Yuen-Li, Nomad Adventure
We salute Kevin Tan, co-founder of OpenSky Unlimited who saved a client from drowning at the cost of his own life. Kevin was a true outdoor professional - safe, smart, caring and totally selfless. He was a qualified Swiftwater Rescue Technician and a one of the most skilled rescuers that we have had the privilege of training with. 
Kevin was an inspiration with his passion for adventure and the special places in nature that God has created. A long time friend, Kevin was pillar of the adventure racing and Malaysian outdoor scene. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to his family and everyone at OpenSky Unlimited.
Yuen-Li subsequently wrote a tribute for Kevin, relating to her own personal near-drowning experience of saving another. Head over to the extension of her life. The Next Adventure.


  1. Its so sad .... its moments like this when friends would have to play a big role in helping Adele & her children in these difficult times...
    Rest in Peace Kevin

  2. Hero. indeed but could have been avoided. Some questions to ask. Were the participants wearing life-jackets, was he the only one watching out for safety, was there any safe equipment on standby (rope, float), was there a safety briefing (where to jump), was there a check before, was he taking thing for granted because he has been there many times. In any such activities or any activities, prevention is better than cure. Why do we check our cars before we drive ? we don't want it to break down. Why do we eat and exercise well cause we don't wan to fall sick. u don't wait until u fall sick before eating well then its too late. Rest in Peace

    1. Does it help to question now that the man is gone?

    2. Who says there weren't? We're talking about a man who made the outdoors his life and passion- you can imagine he would respect the wonder and danger of nature itself. You're assuming that there were no safety precautions taken. More so than that, you're assuming that Kevin was negligent enough to not brief his clients on the dangers of swimming in a waterfall. A man who dedicated 40 hours of his life to make sure he could save anyone facing those say dangers. You, sir, are ignorant and unfeeling, and may you never go through life knowing someone who would lay down their own life for you.

    3. I've gone out camping with this incredible guy as a friend. He was a fantastic guide that cared first about people that went with him. He had every single detail in mind. I'd say that people felt safe with him. I felt safe with him.

    4. i'm not related to him nor known him personally but i know to be called an adventure guide SAFETY of their client is top priority. but a tragedy is a tragedy which no matter what extent one could practice safety if its your time, thats it!! for your information prevention could not prevent accidents. HE DID HIS PART and DID IT WELL!! GOD BLESS HIS FAMILYS and FRIENDS! SHALOM! RIP KEVIN you are in PARADISE, the end of SUFFERING!

    5. Hi Tim,

      Rather insensitive. None of us were there and knowing how he was trained and his value for life, I am very sure he has done what he should, and what he could to ensure a safe outing for everyone.

      Have a good day sir.

  3. there's a same incident before in June when a boy was swept under current. this place should be avoid at all cost.

  4. I am shocked to hear this sad news.
    I was a teacher in a PJ private school and had gone camping with this great man three times in 2010 in a span of a few months with groups of students. I felt absolutely safe with him and his team. Students enjoyed themselves.
    In one of the trips he helped the orang asli by designing and printing more "professional" signage to replace dilapidated ones. My condolences to the family.

  5. Although I do not personally know Kevin Tan, am sad for the loss of a true HERO. My deepest condolences to his family. Stay strong Adele.

  6. Let us all pray to The Lord for strength and courage for his dear wife and kids. He laid his life for others like Jesus did for us.

  7. May Kevin be forever resting in peace. Amen.