British man and son missing after Malaysia diving trip

Rescuers are searching for a British man and his 14-year-old son who went missing on a diving trip in Malaysia.

Adrian Chesters, 46, and his Dutch son, Nathen Chesters, were on a group dive in water off the coast of Mersing, in the southern state of Johor.

Another diver, 18-year-old French woman Alexia Molina, who was part of the four-strong diving group, also remains missing.

A diving instructor who was also on the trip has been rescued.

Police said there is a “strong chance” the divers will be found.

The group had been on a training dive in 49ft (15m) deep water near small island, Pulau Tokong Sanggol, around 10 miles (16km) off the coastal town of Mersing.

The alarm was raised after they did not surface about an hour after the dive.

A map showing Mersing in Malaysia
Image caption,

The divers went missing in deep water in water off Mersing in southern Johor state

Malaysian authorities called off the search on Wednesday due to poor visibility.

But on Thursday morning Norwegian diving instructor Kristine Grodem, who was training the group to obtain advanced diving licences, was found safe.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said Ms Grodem was found by a tugboat 22 nautical miles from the group’s last reported location.

Ms Grodem told authorities she lost sight of the other divers when the group drifted far from their boat due to strong underwater currents, the MMEA said.

District police chief Cyril Edward Nuing said he remains hopeful the missing divers, who had surfaced before they disappeared according to Ms Grodem, will be found.

He said: “With their equipment, their full gear and their experience, we believe there is a strong chance of finding them alive.”

Johor police added the boat’s skipper has been detained while police investigate.

Diving instructor Kristine Grodem transferred in a helicopter to MersingIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,

Norwegian diving instructor Kristine Grodem was airlifted to safety

The Foreign Office have been approached for comment.

According to the PA news agency, it is understood they are in contact with the diving resort and has offered consular assistance to the family.

Authorities in neighbouring Indonesia and Singapore and passing ships have been told to keep a look out for the divers.

The divers’ disappearance comes days after Malaysia reopened its border to foreign nationals on 1 April.

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