Friday, May 27, 2022

British, French divers rescued in Malaysia after more than two days at sea

British, French divers rescued in Malaysia after more than two days at sea
April 9, 2022 Web Desk

MERSING (Reuters) - A French woman and British man who disappeared at sea while diving off the coast of Malaysia were found safe on Saturday after drifting for some 100 km (80 miles) for two and a half days after they went missing, police said.

The search for another diver who went missing at the same time, the 14-year-old son of the British man, was expanded to Indonesian waters, they said.

Alexia Alexandra Molina, 18, from France, and Briton Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, were in a group of four who went missing on Wednesday afternoon on a training dive near Tokong Sanggol, a small island off the southeastern town of Mersing.

The group's instructor, Kristine Grodem, 35, from Norway, was rescued on Thursday.

Fishermen spotted Molina and Chesters at around 1 a.m. (17:00 GMT on Friday) off Indonesia's Bintan island, southeast of Singapore, and some 100 km south of where they went missing, officials said.

"They are in stable condition and under observation, but they are not ready to be interviewed. We will do that as soon as they are ready," Mersing district police chief Cyril Edward Nuing told reporters.

He said Indonesian authorities would take over the search for Chesters' 14-year-old son, Dutch citizen Nathan Renze Chesters, as he had likely drifted into their waters.

"We believe there is a high likelihood that he is no longer in Malaysian waters based on the movement of sea currents, as well as the time and location where the other victims were found," he said.

Malaysian assets would be on standby to help, he said.

Grodem earlier told officials the group surfaced about an hour into their dive on Wednesday but could not find their boat.

She was later separated from the others after being caught in strong currents.

The boat operator who took them to the dive site was detained after testing positive for drugs, police said.