Life & Leisure

Malaysia searches for 3 foreigners missing after diving trip, 1 rescued

Bangkok, Apr 7 (EFE).- Malaysian rescuers resumed Thursday an extensive search operation for a French and two British tourists who went missing during a diving trip a day ago.

The searchers rescued a Norwegian diving instructor, Kristine Grodem, 35, said the authorities.

Two helicopters and more than a dozen boats combed the waters off the coast of Johor, in the south of the Malacca peninsula, for the second day, where the group disappeared Wednesday noon while diving off the southern coast of Mersing Island.

State-run Bernama news agency reported that 90 members and officers from various agencies, including 30 divers, were mobilized for the search and rescue operation.

In a statement, the coastguard said Grodem was found alive on Thursday.

The missing divers are Alexia Alexandra Molina, 18, of France. Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, and his some Nathen Renze Chesters, 14.

Malaysian Maritime Agency chief Nurul Hizam Zakaria told reporters that Grodem was in good health but was hospitalized for treatment.

The survivor was found by a cargo ship about 22 nautical miles (more than 40 km) from the diving site.

Groden has said the missing divers were swept away by currents, Zakaria said.

The maritime agency said the search operation began Wednesday and was halted later due to poor visibility.

Bernama news agency said police detained the boat skipper whose vessel the missing divers boarded for the diving exercise.

Johor police chief Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the man in his 20s has tested positive for the drug.

“We will detain him until our investigation is completed,” the police chief said.

The police officer said his team was investigating all aspects.

“We will investigate in terms of their diving equipment, the dive centre and so on. A forensic team will be arriving. If there is misconduct and so on, we will investigate as well,” he said.

Malaysia reopened its borders to foreigners on Apr.1 after the government shut the country for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The immigration department said more than 55,000 foreigners entered Malaysia in the first four days since the border opened. EFE


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