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MMEA dispatches Bombardier, B200T aircraft to boost search efforts for missing divers in Mersing

A member of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency uses binoculars during the search to locate three divers at sea April 8, 2022 in Johor. — AFP pic

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MERSING, April 8 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has dispatched a Bombardier CL 415 MP aircraft to boost the search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate the remaining three foreign divers who went missing in the waters of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, near here, on Wednesday.

This is the first time the agency is using the aircraft, which display excellent low altitude manoeuvrability and loiter time capabilities, for SAR operation in Johor.

Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said apart from the Bombardier and two helicopters from MMEA and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) deployed yesterday, MMEA also received assistance from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) through its B200T aircraft.

“It’s been three days since the victims went missing. However, we will not give up and we hope all of them will be rescued.

“With the deployment of these aircraft, suitable for long-range operation, the possibility of finding the victims is higher,” he told a press conference at the search and rescue operation forward base at the Mersing District Council Public Jetty here today.

Apart from that, Nurul Hizam said these aircraft, taking part in a search area of 739.64 nautical miles, would also be looking out for emergency signals from the divers if they were drifted towards any nine small islands located around the south of Pulau Tokong Sanggol.

Today’s operation which started as early as 3am also involves 11 boats from multiple agencies and 10 jet skis belonging to the public covering 335.79 nautical miles for the search at sea.

The operation will be focusing on finding three victims which include father and son, Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, (British national) and Nathen Renze Chesters, 14, (Dutch national) as well as 18-year-old French national, Alexia Alexandra Molina.

Yesterday, Norwegian dive master Kristine Grodem, 36, was found floating, complete with her diving suit and equipment, by a tugboat en route from Indonesia to Thailand at 8.15am in the waters off Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi, about 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen. — Bernama

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