A view shows a tugboat which found Norwegian diver, Kristine Grodem, off Mersing coast, in Johor, Malaysia, April 7, 2022. — Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency handout pic via Reuters
MERSING, April 7 — The chances of finding three more missing foreign divers alive and safe in the waters of Pulau Tokong Sanggol here are high, said Mersing district police chief Supt Cyril Edward Nuing.
He said the confidence was based on the experience of the three missing divers, apart from them being properly equipped with diving gear and supplies for training before they were reported missing.
According to the testimony given by a survivor found earlier this morning from the group of four, Norwegian woman Kristine Grodem, the other three divers had already surfaced (after the diving course they were undertaking) before drifting apart.
“Therefore, we believe the chance for us to find them alive (and well) is very good based on their experience and with diving equipment (fins, vest) and supplies on them,” he told reporters at the search and rescue operation forward base at the Mersing district council public jetty here today.
According to him, the three divers have a record of over 50 dives and are undergoing a training course in advanced open waters.
Earlier, Grodem, 35, who is the diving instructor in the group of four, was found safe after drifting 30 nautical miles from the scene by a tugboat at 8.15am today.
Cyril said according to Grodem, all four divers made the first dive for 45 minutes before emerging on the surface.
“On the second dive, they went up after 20 minutes, but Grodem noticed a strong current and frantically called out to the (boat) skipper but she could not be heard, as they had drifted about 500 metres away from the boat,” Cyril added.
Grodem then tried to swim to Pulau Lima to get help but was foiled by strong currents which also separated her from the others.
“The coach was found drifting on the surface of the sea with diving equipment intact from noon yesterday before being rescued,” Cyril added.
However, he was also concerned about other factors that could hinder rescue efforts, including current weather conditions as well as hazards of dehydration and hypothermia that could affect the divers.
The missing trio are British national Adrian Peter, 46, his 14-year-old son Nathen Renze who is a Dutch national and French woman Alexia Alexandra, 18.
A total of 90 personnel from various agencies were involved in the search for the three still lost at sea today, using 18 boats and two helicopters. — Bernama