Malaysian fishermen find two missing tourist divers

Search continues for Dutch teenager, who was among four divers who disappeared on Wednesday

Police chief Cyril Edward shows photos of rescues divers Adrian Chesters and Alexia Molina.  Reuters

Two Europeans who disappeared during a dive last week have been rescued by fishermen, Malaysian authorities said on Saturday, as the search operation focused on finding a Dutch teenager who is still missing.

Alexia Molina, 18, of France and Adrian Chesters, 46, of Britain were found early on Saturday in waters near Indonesia's border, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said. They were taken to a hospital and were in stable condition, police told local media.

Mr Chesters' Dutch son, Nathen, 14, remains missing, the agency said.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement chief Khairul Misran shows where the two missing divers were found near Indonesia's Bintan Island. AFP

The three were diving with their Norwegian instructor, Kristine Grodem, on Wednesday in waters about 15 metres deep at an island off Mersing town in southern Johor state. Ms Grodem, 35, was rescued on Thursday by a tug. She said the four of them had surfaced safely on Wednesday afternoon but later drifted away from the boat and were separated by a strong current.

The search for Nathen Chesters has moved south to where the two divers were found, Mersing maritime chief Khairul Misran said. Two aircraft, nine boats and some 85 personnel as well as fishermen are involved in an expanded search, he said.

Ms Grodem was providing training for the other three, who were seeking to obtain advanced diving licences, maritime officials said.

The boat skipper has been detained by investigators and diving activities off Mersing have been suspended. There are several islands off the town that are popular dive spots for residents and tourists.

Malaysia’s borders reopened to foreigners on April 1 after being closed for more than two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated: April 09, 2022, 8:08 AM