Missing divers surfaced before drifting, survivor says

Malaysian authorities have resumed the search for three European divers who have been missing since walking away from their dive boat on Wednesday afternoon

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysian authorities resumed the search for three Europeans, including two teenagers, who disappeared while diving off a southern island on Friday for the third day.

Authorities had expressed hope of finding them after Norwegian diving instructor Kristine Grodem was rescued on Thursday. She told authorities the four surfaced safely on Wednesday afternoon, but drifted away from the boat and were separated by the strong current.

The group were diving in water about 15 meters (50ft) deep on an island off the town of Mersing in southern Johor state. Grodem, 35, was rescued by a tug about 22 nautical miles (40 kilometers) from the dive site.

The missing divers are Alexia Alexandra Molina, 18, from France; Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, from Great Britain; and her Dutch son, Nathen Renze Chesters, 14.

Authorities deployed two planes, 18 boats and around 90 people, including rescue divers, as they widened the search area.

Maritime officials said Grodem was providing scuba training to the other three, who were seeking advanced diving licenses.

“Based on his story, the other three managed to surface. With their gear, full gear and experience, we believe there is a good chance of finding them alive,” district police chief Cyril Edward Nuing said Thursday.

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

ABC News

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