The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Two European divers rescued after disappearing in Malaysia

Two European divers rescued after disappearing in Malaysia

MALAYSIA: A British man and French teenager were rescued Saturday (Apr 9) three days after going missing while diving in Malaysia, police said, as hopes faded for the man’s son who is still unaccounted for.

Saturday 9 April 2022, 05:18PM

Malaysian police official Cyril Edward shows pictures of two rescued divers: French national Alexia Alexandra Molina (R) and Briton Adrian Peter Chesters. Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP

Malaysian police official Cyril Edward shows pictures of two rescued divers: French national Alexia Alexandra Molina (R) and Briton Adrian Peter Chesters. Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP

The trio and their instructor got into trouble Wednesday after they surfaced from a dive near a southern island but could not find their boat.

The Briton, 46-year-old Adrian Chesters, and Frenchwoman Alexia Molina, 18, were discovered by fishermen in the waters of neighboring Indonesia, picked up by marine police and taken back to Malaysia.

They were found about 30 kilometers north of Indonesia’s Bintan Island ‒ having drifted some 130km from where they had been diving.

The pair have been admitted to a Malaysian hospital in a stable condition, said local police chief Cyril Edward Nuing in the coastal town of Mersing, the base for search operations.

The instructor, Norwegian woman Kristine Grodem, had already been rescued on Thursday in waters off southern Malaysia.

Chesters’s son, 14-year-old Nathen, who holds Dutch citizenship, remains missing and officials believe he has drifted into Indonesian waters.

There is a “high possibility that he is not in Malaysian waters, based on the flow of the current and the time and place where these two [Peters and Molina] were found,” said Nuing.

“We decided to stop the search and rescue in Malaysian waters and we have informed Indonesian parties to continue [it].”

Malaysian authorities remain on standby in case they need to resume the hunt, he added.

In recent days, Malaysia had deployed helicopters, a plane, boats, divers and jet skiers to hunt over a large area.

Authorities did not give details on how the rescued trio survived a long period drifting at sea, and said they have not yet been questioned in detail about their ordeal.

Art-Tec Design

Previously, officials had expressed hope the divers would be found alive as they had substantial experience and were well equipped, including with a diving buoy.

They also said that light rains in recent days might help the divers survive by providing drinking water.

On Thursday, the French teen’s mother Esther Molina said from Mersing that the family were “hoping for the best. She’s a strong girl, she’ll kick ass.”

Grodem had been instructing the divers close to a small island, Tokong Sanggol, about 15km off Malaysia’s southeast coast, when the accident happened.

After a dive lasting about 40 minutes, they surfaced but could not find their boat. They drifted together in strong currents, but ended up getting separated.

The captain of the boat who took them to the dive site has been arrested after testing positive for drugs.

The area where the accident happened is popular with foreign and domestic visitors ‒ resorts dot the coast and the islands.

Diving accidents, while rare, do occasionally happen 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 borders reopened to foreign tourists on Apr 1 after a two-year coronavirus closure, and thousands of visitors have arrived.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Kurt | 10 April 2022 - 11:31:28

The boy is 13 yrs old! His father said, he is not very strong. A boy of that age is not diving certified for diving in water deeper than 12 metres. And sure not in sea conditions were divers ( diving is a buddy sport) not able to stay together after surfacing. All the 3 were not skilled/prepared for diving that location. And boat driver used drugs? A disaster was waiting.

BigaAResort | 10 April 2022 - 10:28:04

What is the so called capt.who is responsible for the boat,  crew and passengers charged for ? he should knew about the current and so on!It happen to me on Ko Lanta my Swiss dive party (family) got taken with the current after one hr I start looking for them and and found them haenging on the buoy at the entrance to Ko Lanta.They where  happy to see me! they where drifting 4 sm in 40 min 


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Helicopter to join search for German tourist

JohnC@ very insensitive comment especially as she has now been safe Thai’s are very caring towards...(Read More)

Missing German tourist found safe

Fantastic news pleased for the family, if she is an Alzheimer’s sufferer as has been reported they...(Read More)

Ukrainians arrested in Phuket, face extradition for offences in US

This cannot be real. Western MSM is saying all Ukrainians are angels. There must be some mistake...(Read More)

Missing German tourist found safe

What did she eat and drink for a week?...(Read More)

Phuket Immigration seeks expat volunteers

@DeKaaskopp. What you said is the same as what was said about slaves....(Read More)

Helicopter to join search for German tourist

@JohnC No need to doubt anymore. Hope you can sleep better now....(Read More)

Violence clouds Jerusalem funeral of Al Jazeera journalist

Somehow Israel must have a "carte blanche" to do whatever they want. Annexation of land an...(Read More)

Pandemic, or Endemic Epidemic? It’s all Academic!

Great article! Really a to the point comment. A fine enlighting how Thai softening their wrong doing...(Read More)

Female students face police over vicious attack on 11-year-old

Too many feral children here without parental control. Be it fights, riding crazy on motorbikes or j...(Read More)