British man, 46 rescued after disappearing while diving off Malaysia

Missing British father is rescued but his 14-year-old son is still missing after they were left in the ocean by ‘drug taking’ boat captain on diving trip off Malaysia

  • Adrian Peter Chesters and Alexia Alexandra Molina were found early Saturday
  • Mr Chester’s Dutch son, Nathen Renze Chesters, aged 14, remained missing
  • Trio were diving with Norwegian instructor Kristine Grodem off Mersing town 

A British man and a French woman who disappeared during a dive last week have been rescued by fishermen, though the search will continue for the man’s 14-year-old son.

Shell engineer Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, and 18-year-old Alexia Alexandra Molina were found early on Saturday in waters near Indonesia’s border and have been taken to a hospital, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said. 

The two were in stable condition, police told local media.

Mr Chester’s Dutch son, Nathen Renze Chesters, remained missing, the agency said in a statement. 

The three were diving with their Norwegian instructor, Kristine Grodem, on Wednesday in waters about 50 feet deep at an island off Mersing town in southern Johor state. 

Police previously said they had launched an investigation and would assess the dive equipment and location, adding that the captain is being investigated under Section 15(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. 

Adrian Peter Chesters (pictured left), 46, and 18-year-old Alexia Alexandra Molina (pictured right) were found early on Saturday in waters near Indonesia ‘s border and have been taken to a hospital, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said

Rescuers have found Mr Chesters, left, after he went missing while diving off the coast of south east Malaysia. They are still searching for his 14-year-old son, Nathen Renze Chesters, 14, a Dutch citizen, right

Mersing district police chief Cyril Edward shows pictures of two divers found alive, French national Alexia Alexandra Molina (right) and British national Adrian Peter Chesters (left)

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers during their search and rescue operation for foreign divers off the coast of Johor’s Mersing, Malaysia

Ms Grodem, 35, was rescued on Thursday by a tugboat. 

She said the four of them surfaced safely on Wednesday afternoon but later drifted away from the boat and were separated by a strong current.

The search has moved south to where the two divers were found, Mersing maritime chief Khairul Nizam Misran said. 

Two aircraft, nine boats and some 85 personnel as well as fishermen are involved in the expanded search, he said.

The boat skipper was detained for further investigation, and diving activities off Mersing have been suspended. 

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officers are seen at the search and rescue operation command centre of the missing divers at Mersing, Johor, Malaysia on Saturday morning

The island where they disappeared, Pulau Tokong Sanggol, is about nine miles (15km), off the Malaysian coast

Ms Grodem was providing training for the other three, who were seeking to obtain advanced diving licences, maritime officials said.

Local officials had suggested they were confident the three missing persons would be found because they were ‘experienced divers’. 

Chesters, who is from Sheffield, had only recently moved his family to the tourist hotspot after working as the senior engineer behind Shell’s highly successful Appomattox rig in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The area where the group initially went missing from is popular among divers and tourists, with dozens of resorts dotted around the coastal area.   

Diving instructor Kristine Grodem, 35, (pictured) was found 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen. She and the group were diving off the tiny island of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, nine miles from the coast, before they vanished on Wednesday

Diving accidents, while rare, do occasionally take place 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 white-sand beaches and lush rainforests have long made it a major draw, but the tourism industry was hit hard by travel curbs during Covid.  

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

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