A Norwegian woman who was part of a group of four divers that went missing off the coast of Mersing in Johor has been rescued on Thursday (7 April) morning.
According to Malay Mail, Kristine Grodem, 35, was located near Pulau Aur and was transferred by a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) helicopter to the Mersing town at around noon. She appeared fatigued but was still able to walk to a nearby ambulance after the helicopter landed.
Kristine, who is a divemaster, was reported missing together with British national Adrian Peter and his 14-year-old son Nathan Renee, who is a citizen of the Netherlands, and French woman Alexia Alexandre, 18, during a diving exercise yesterday (6 April) afternoon.
Speaking at a press conference, Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said Kristine was located at around 8.15am this morning by a cargo vessel that was travelling from Indonesia to Thailand.
He added that she is in stable condition and sustained no serious injuries.
MMEA’s 1st Adm Nurul Hizam added that the four divers initially went missing due to strong underwater currents.
He said that according to the account shared by Kristen, all four divers had surfaced from their dive at around 12.45 pm on Wednesday, but they drifted apart due to the currents.
He then explained that Kristen tried to scream, whistle and wave to get the attention of their boat captain, but the divers had drifted too far away, even from each other.
Meanwhile, police have arrested the boat captain who took the divers, after he tested positive for drugs, according to NST.
Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the captain was arrested at 11.30 pm yesterday after giving his statement at the Mersing district police headquarters.
“He tested positive for methamphetamine use when we conducted a urine test,” he confirmed.
Kamarul urged that police will conduct a thorough investigation of the incident, including on the dive equipment and the location which was used as the dive centre. He said the captain’s case is being investigated under Section 15(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
For now, rescuers are focused on locating the remaining three divers.
Mersing police commanding officer Supt Cyril Edward Nuing said that there was still a “very good chance” of locating the others, given that they had surfaced from their initial dive and possibly still had their diving vest and fins with them.
“Based on what has been recounted by (Ms Grodem), the remaining three divers had successfully surfaced. So with the equipment that was on them and based on their diving experience, the chances of finding them alive now are very big,” Cyril added.