Rescuers are still searching for a 46-year-old British man and his 14-year-old son after they went missing while diving off the coast of south east Malaysia. 

Norwegian woman Kristine Grodem, 35, was today rescued alive after going missing when a group of four went diving off the tiny island of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, nine miles from the coast.

But Brit Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, and his son Nathen Renze Chesters, 14, a Dutch citizen, and Alexia Alexandra Molina, an 18-year-old French woman, are amongst three others still unaccounted for.  

Today diving instructor Ms Grodem, was found 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen, where she and the group were diving, nine miles from the coast, before they vanished on Wednesday.  

Officials say the four, who were in the water for 40 minutes, ‘failed to return after undergoing a diving exercise’. 

Mersing police chief Superintendent Cyril Edward Nuing said the divers could not see their boat when they resurfaced, and they ended up drifting in strong currents. 

‘The instructor tried to keep all of them together but they got separated,’ he said.

‘We believe the three victims will be found safe as they are experienced divers.’

A hunt involving boats from the coastguard, the police and the fisheries department was launched at 2.45pm (6.45am GMT) on Wednesday, senior coastguard official Nurul Hizam Zakaria said in a statement.  

Chester's 14-year-old son Nathen, a Dutch citizen, is also missing after diving in south east Malaysia

Rescuers are still searching for a 46-year-old British man, Adrian Peter Chesters, left, and his 14-year-old son, Nathen Renze Chesters, 14, a Dutch citizen, right, after they went missing while diving off the coast of south east Malaysia

Alexia Alexandra Molina, an 18-year-old French woman, pictured, is amongst the three others still unaccounted for after diving training at Pulau Tokong Sanggol

Alexia Alexandra Molina, an 18-year-old French woman, pictured, is amongst the three others still unaccounted for after diving training at Pulau Tokong Sanggol

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said Grodem was found by a tug boat in the waters off Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi, en route from Indonesia to Thailand at 8.15am (2.15am GMT) ‘floating and fully equipped’ with her diving gear. 

‘After being found, the 35-year-old victim was transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing [Stadium] for further treatment,’ he reported. She is said to be in a stable condition.

But it was postponed at 7.30pm local time due on Wednesday to poor visibility and amid bad weather. The search resumed at 7am today.   

Helicopters, boats and dozens of divers are still hunting for Adrian Chesters, 46, Nathen Chesters, 14, and Alexia Molina, 18.

Police also revealed the boat captain who had taken the group to the diving site had been arrested after testing positive for drugs.

Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said officers arrested the man at 11.30pm on Thursday after he gave a statement to Mersing district police.

Today diving instructor Kristine Grodem, 35, (pictured) was found 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen, where she and the group were diving off the tiny island of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, nine miles from the coast, before they vanished on Wednesday

Today diving instructor Kristine Grodem, 35, (pictured) was found 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen, where she and the group were diving off the tiny island of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, nine miles from the coast, before they vanished on Wednesday

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said Grodem was found by a tug boat in the waters off Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi, en route from Indonesia to Thailand at 8.15am (2.15am GMT) 'floating and fully equipped' with her diving gear (pictured after being transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing Stadium)

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said Grodem was found by a tug boat in the waters off Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi, en route from Indonesia to Thailand at 8.15am (2.15am GMT) ‘floating and fully equipped’ with her diving gear (pictured after being transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing Stadium)

Mr Mamat said: ‘He tested positive for methamphetamine use when we conducted a urine test.  

‘The forensics team will arrive to conduct the investigation. We will also investigate if there is any issue of negligence.’ 

He said that police will conduct a ‘thorough investigation’ on the incident, including on the dive equipment and location used for diving, adding that the captain is being investigated under Section 15(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Officials say the four, who were in the water for 40 minutes, 'failed to return after undergoing a diving exercise' - pictured, the tug boat which found Norwegian diver Kristine Grodem

Officials say the four, who were in the water for 40 minutes, ‘failed to return after undergoing a diving exercise’ – pictured, the tug boat which found Norwegian diver Kristine Grodem

The 35-year-old victim was transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing Stadium

Ms Grodem (pictured) is said to be in a stable condition

After being found, the 35-year-old victim was transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing Stadium for further treatment (pictured upon helicopter landing at Mersing)

Grodem (pictured in the helicopter after rescuing) had been instructing the divers close to a small island about nine miles (15 kilometres) off the coast when the accident happened, authorities have said

Grodem (pictured in the helicopter after rescuing) had been instructing the divers close to a small island about nine miles (15 kilometres) off the coast when the accident happened, authorities have said

Grodem had been instructing the divers close to a small island about nine miles (15 kilometres) off the coast when the accident happened, authorities have said. 

‘The instructor tried to keep all of them together but they got separated,’ he said.

‘We believe the three victims will be found safe as they are experienced divers.’

The area where they disappeared is popular with foreign and domestic visitors – there are resorts dotted along the coast and on nearby islands.

The island where they disappeared, Pulau Tokong Sanggol, is about nine miles (15km), off the Malaysian coast

The island where they disappeared, Pulau Tokong Sanggol, is about nine miles (15km), off the Malaysian coast

The area is popular with foreign and domestic visitors - there are resorts dotted along the coast and on nearby islands. Pictured: Paradise island Pulau Sibu near the search area

The area is popular with foreign and domestic visitors – there are resorts dotted along the coast and on nearby islands. Pictured: Paradise island Pulau Sibu near the search area

Diving accidents, while rare, do occasionally take place in Malaysia.

In 2013, a British tourist died when she was struck by a passing boat’s propeller while diving off resort islands in the South China Sea.

The tropical Southeast Asian nation’s white-sand beaches and lush rainforests have long made it a major draw, but the tourism industry was hit hard by travel curbs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s borders reopened to foreign tourists last week after a two-year closure. 



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