Rescue mission

Malaysia rescue mission underway as British man and boy go missing after diving trip | United Kingdom | News

A rescue mission has been launched off Malaysia after a 46-year-old man, a 14-year-old boy, an 18-year-old French woman and a 35-year-old Norwegian woman went missing while diving. .

The missing people were taking part in a diving training exercise off Pulau Tokong Sanggol, near Mersing, when they ‘failed to return’ during the exercise.

Coastguard official Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was alerted around 2:45 p.m. local time (6:45 GMT).

Their training took place around 12 p.m.

The island where they disappeared, Pulau Tokong Sanggol, is about nine miles off the coast.

A hunt involving coastguard, police and fisheries service boats has been launched.

Mr Zakaria said in a statement: “The divers were reported missing by the captain of the boat that took them out to sea.

“The SAR operation, initiated as Op Carilamat, was activated at 2:45 p.m. involving assets from MMEA, Maritime Police and the Malaysian Department of Fisheries.”

Mr Zakaria then provided an update in which he said: ‘A forward operating base has been set up at Mersing District Council’s public jetty.

“As of 4 p.m., none of the divers have been found.”

Malaysia’s borders reopened to tourists last week, after a two-year closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tropical destination is popular among tourists for its white sand beaches and tropical forests.

Although diving accidents are rare in Malaysia, they are known to cause casualties.

A British tourist died in 2013 when she was hit by the propeller of a passing boat as she dived off tourist islands in the South China Sea.

In 2018, six divers from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Service died in a whirlpool in a lake in Malaysia while trying to rescue a missing boy.