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2 European divers rescued, search continues for Dutch teenager

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Two Europeans who went missing while diving last week have been rescued by fishermen, Malaysian authorities said on Saturday, with the search operation now focusing on the search for a 14-year-old Dutch boy years still missing.

Alexia Alexandra Molina, 18, from France, and Adrian Peter Chesters, 46, from Britain were found early on Saturday in waters near the Indonesian border and taken to hospital, the Malaysian Agency said. combating maritime fraud. Both were in stable condition, police told local media.

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

The three were diving with their Norwegian instructor, Kristine Grodem, on Wednesday in waters around 15 meters (50 feet) deep on an island off the town of Mersing in southern Johor state. Grodem, 35, was rescued by a tug on Thursday. She said the four of them surfaced safely on Wednesday afternoon, but then drifted away from the boat and were separated by a strong current.

The search moved south to where the two divers were found, Mersing Maritime Chief Khairul Nizam Misran said. Two planes, nine boats and some 85 staff plus fishermen are involved in an expanded search, he said.

Grodem was providing training to the other three, who were seeking advanced diving licenses, maritime officials said.

The captain of the boat has been arrested for further investigation and diving activities off Mersing have been suspended. There are several islands off the town which are popular dive sites for local residents and tourists.

Malaysia’s borders reopened to foreigners on April 1 after being closed for more than two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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