British father says teenage son who disappeared on diving trip in Malaysia is dead

He was among the four people who went missing after going on a training dive near Tokong Sanggol

Namita Singh
Monday 11 April 2022 10:59
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Missing Dutch teenage diver has drifted into Indonesian waters, says Malaysian authorities

A British man rescued by Malaysian authorities two and half days after drifting at sea told officials that his teenage son, missing since diving off the coast of Malaysia, has died.

Adrian Chesters, 46, had gone for a training dive in waters near Tokong Sanggol along with his 14-year-old son Nathan Renze Chesters on 6 April. The father-son duo were among the four people who went missing along with the group’s 35-year-old Norwegian instructor Kristine Grodem and another 18-year-old french national Alexia Molina.

While Ms Gordem was rescued by a tugboat on Thursday, Mr Chesters and Ms Molina were found at around 1 am in waters of Pengerang, a considerable distance south of where they disappeared, Mersing district police chief Cyril Nuing told reporters.

Nathan’s father however told the authorities that his son has died “as he was too weak and could not survive”, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement. This comes even as his body is yet to be recovered.

The authorities added that the Indonesian authorities will take over the search for the Dutch national, who most likely drifted into their waters.

Commander of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Khairul Nizam Misran shows on a map where two divers, French national Alexia Alexandra Molina and British national Adrian Peter Chesters, were found alive near Indonesia’s Bintan Island on 9 April 2022

"We believe there is a high likelihood that he is no longer in Malaysian waters based on the movement of sea currents, as well as the time and location where the other victims were found," said Mr Nuing.

Earlier, the group’s diving instructor Ms Grodem told officials that the group had resurfaced 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Additional reporting from the wires

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