Norwegian diver found safe, 3 remain missing

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A Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)-led search and rescue (SAR) team found Norwegian Kristine Grodem about 30 nautical miles from where she was last reported seen.

Johor MMEA director, First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said Grodem was found floating and fully equipped with diving gear by a tug boat en route from Indonesia to Thailand at 8.15 am in the waters off Tanjung Sedili in Kota Tinggi.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency via Reuters

“After being found, the 36-year-old victim was transferred to a MMEA helicopter and then taken to Mersing for further treatment.

“Efforts to find the remaining three victims, Alexia Alexandra (18); Adrian Peter (46) and Nathen Renze (14), are continuing with the joint SAR team assets,” Nurul Hizam told reporters at the Mersing district office public jetty today.

“The victim drifted south and was found around the waters of Tanjung Sedili, where she is reported to be in stable condition without serious injuries,” he said, adding that Grodem is currently warded at the Mersing Hospital for medical examination.

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Nurul Hizam also said the National SAR Agency (BASARNAS) and the Singapore authorities were also earlier informed of the missing divers who are believed to be drifting towards the south of the island.

In addition, he said the Marine Department has also issued a notification to ships sailing around the location to assist.

Earlier, Grodem arrived at the Mersing Stadium by helicopter at 12.05pm this afternoon.

She got off the helicopter without the assistance of a stretcher and was then rushed to an ambulance before being taken to Mersing Hospital.

It is understood all the victims have diving licences, while Grodem is a certified Dive Master.

Meanwhile, the skipper of a boat boarded by the four foreign divers has been detained after he tested positive for drugs.

Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the man, in his 20s, was initially called in to give his statement.

“We conducted a urine test and found he tested positive for drugs. We will detain him until our investigation is completed,” he told reporters at Pangkalan Hadapan Carilamat (PHC) at the Mersing District Council public jetty.

Bernama

Kamarul Zaman said the boat skipper was detained at the Mersing district police headquarters at about 11.30pm yesterday and is being investigated under Section 15 (1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

When asked if there was an element of negligence in the incident involving the foreign divers, Kamarul Zaman said his team was investigating all aspects.

“We will investigate in terms of their diving equipment, the dive centre and so on. A forensic team will be arriving. If there is misconduct and so on, we will investigate as well,” he added.

The MMEA-led SAR joint operation, called Op Carilamat, was initiated at about 2.35 pm yesterday involving the assets from the Royal Malaysia Police, MMEA, Gerup Gerak Khas, the Fire and Rescue Department and the Fisheries Department.

A total of 90 members and officers, including 30 divers along with 18 boats and two helicopters, are being mobilised in the SAR operation. The search, which entered the second day, will cover an area of 107 nautical miles radius.

At noon yesterday, four foreign divers went missing after diving off Pulau Tokong Sanggol.