Divers from UK and France found adrift off Malaysia but boy, 14, still missing

A British man and a French woman have been rescued by fishermen after they disappeared while diving off the coast of Malaysia, but a 14-year-old boy remains missing, police said.

Adrian Chesters, 46, was found safe in the early hours of Saturday morning, drifting at sea two and a half days after going missing.

Rescuers are still on the hunt for Mr Chester’s 14-year-old son, Nathan Renze Chesters.

Mr Chesters was rescued alongside Alexia Molina, 18, at around 1 am in waters off Pengerang, a considerable distance south of where they disappeared, Mersing district police chief Cyril Nuing told reporters.

“Both individuals…are reported to be in stable conditions,” he said, adding that marine police had taken them to hospital. He declined to provide further details of the rescue.

Mr Chesters, his son, and Ms Molina were among four people who went missing on Wednesday 6 April at around noon on a training dive in waters about 50 feet deep near Tokong Sanggol, a small island off the southeastern town of Mersing.

The group’s instructor, Kristine Grodem, 35, from Norway, was rescued by a tugboat on Thursday.

Ms Grodem 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 search has now moved south to where Mr Chesters and Ms Molina were found. Two aircrafts, nine boats and some 85 personnel, as well as fishermen, are involved in the expanded search, Mersing maritime chief Khairul Nizam Misran said.

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

Diving activities off Mersing have been suspended. Several towns in the area are popular dive spots for local residents and tourists.

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

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