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£900 fine for operator that lost four divers

Coast Guard search after four divers go missing - boat operator fined
Coast Guard search for Nathen Chesters (MMEA)
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The boat operator involved in the incident in Malaysia in which four divers went missing and one, a 14-year-old boy, died earlier this year has escaped with a 5,000 ringgit fine – the equivalent of £925.

The company Winter Snow, described as providing services for scuba divers, had been charged by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for operating the dive-boat without an adequate crew. It pleaded guilty at a magistrate’s court on 23 June.

On 6 April, four European divers had gone missing on a dive from the boat after getting caught in currents off the island of Tokong Sanggol, as described in a series of reports on Divernet.

Norwegian instructor Kristine Grodem, French woman Alexia Molina and British national Adrian Chesters were all eventually rescued, but Chesters’ 14-year-old son Nathan died in the incident. His body was not found.

Winter Snow is a private limited company owned and operated by Sea Gypsy Village Resort & Dive Base on the island of Sibu. Soon after the divers had gone missing, police arrested the captain of the boat and reported that he had tested positive for methamphetamine use.

Since the fatal incident, Malaysian dive professionals have called for a diving regulatory body to be introduced in the country, as reported on Divernet.

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