Sea Gypsy dive-resort shocked by ‘sudden change’ lawsuit

Pulau Sibu (kwc909)
Sibu island off Johor, Malaysia (kwc909)

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Steve Weinman

The company behind Sea Gypsy Village Resort on the remote Malaysian island of Sibu has expressed shock at the news that a negligence lawsuit has been brought against it and two of its staff in connection with the 2022 death of a 13-year-old diver, as reported in detail on Divernet on 2 June. 

The resort’s owner-operator Winter Snow maintains that it had continued to have a good relationship with the boy’s parents even after the fatal incident – to the extent of having taken family-members scuba diving.

Teenager Nathen Chesters was left adrift with his father, their instructor and another guest in the South China Sea after becoming separated from their dive-boat.

While the instructor was rescued the following day, the boy went on to die during the gruelling four-day drift survived by his father Adrian and his dive-buddy. The group had been carrying out PADI Advanced Open Water Diver training in strong currents when they became separated from the boat.

Missing
Nathen and Adrian Chesters

The lawsuit has been brought by British national Adrian Chesters and Nathen’s mother Andrea Van Der Zee, a non-diver. They are seeking damages amounting to the equivalent of £66,000.

Winter Sun’s legal team FHC Legal of Johor Baru have told Divernet that Sea Gypsy Village Resort is a small family-run business that has prided itself on its commitment to quality diving and to the local community over the past 30 years.

“Our clients have always maintained a strong, positive relationship with the victim’s parents since the tragedy,” said FHC lawyer Nick Chew. “They have gone above and beyond to support the family, hosting events at their expense and taking them diving since.“ It is understood that a vigil and Viking ceremony had been held at the dive-site on the first anniversary of the incident in 2023. 

“The defendants are stunned by the sudden change in attitudes and to be now placed in a position where they must defend themselves against claims that are not only unfounded, but also include numerous inaccuracies and falsehoods and a claim for a substantial monetary award.”

‘Demonstrating the truth’

Divernet had reported that Winter Sun had not responded to the allegations made in the lawsuit within the required time-frame because it was still in discussions with its insurance company.

“We wish to assure all concerned parties that a comprehensive account, including details of the exoneration of our clients’ practices and procedures by the relevant authorities at the time, will be presented,” says Chew. “Our clients remain committed to demonstrating the truth and upholding their reputation whilst being sympathetic to the family’s continuing grief.”

Three months after the fatal incident, the resort had been fined 5,000 ringgits (about £830) by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for operating a dive-boat without an adequate crew.

Local police investigations resulted in the boat-skipper being fined 2,000 ringgits after testing positive for methamphetamines. Their case in relation to the death of Nathen Chesters, whose body was never found, remains open.

The Chesters’ legal action cites not only Winter Snow but, as individuals, resort and dive-centre manager Richard Wills, who is a member of the family that owns the resort, and skipper Kamil Bin MD Kassim. They are also being represented by FHC Legal at present.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants’ breaches of duty of care resulted in the death of Nathen Chesters, physical and psychological injuries to his father and psychological injuries to Van Der Zee, who had also been staying at the resort with her daughter at the time.

Also on Divernet: 13-year-old diver’s parents sue Malaysian resort over death, Instructor rescued – 3 trainees missing off MalaysiaMissing boy died beside father on Malaysia drift£900 fine for operator that lost four diversDive pros call for Malaysian regulatory body 

This week, it looks like DPV manufacturer ScubaJet has begun insolvency proceedings. PADI has distributed half a million dollars in their Project Aware campaign. Dorset coastguard have called off the search for a missing diver. And the Pearl Fleet has commented on a viral video of a shark-dive that didn’t go so well
https://taucher.net/diveinside-insolvency_proceedings_at_scubajet-kaz9246
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.

This week, it looks like DPV manufacturer ScubaJet has begun insolvency proceedings. PADI has distributed half a million dollars in their Project Aware campaign. Dorset coastguard have called off the search for a missing diver. And the Pearl Fleet has commented on a viral video of a shark-dive that didn’t go so well
https://taucher.net/diveinside-insolvency_proceedings_at_scubajet-kaz9246
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/conservation/padi-aware-distributes-500k-in-mission-hub-grants/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/raid-launches-ots-full-face-mask-programme/
https://www.scubadivermag.com/dorset-coastguard-call-off-search-for-diver/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/search-for-diver-off-dorset-stood-down/
https://divernet.com/scuba-news/health-safety/pearl-fleet-hits-back-as-maldives-shark-dive-slammed/
Diving Into The Darkness Link:
https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/mzsd


Become a fan: https://www.scubadivermag.com/join
Gear Purchases: https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/dive-gear
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.

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Sharks and Yum Yum Yellow. What are your thoughts? #askmark
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Diving Into The Darkness Website:
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@emilyZA460
#AskMark hi! I was hoping you could help me understand the interchangeability of a DSMB and a simple SMB if I only plan to use it when I deploy it during my safety stop at 5 meters. I used the simple version for this purpose during my last liveaboard and despite occasionally having to reinflate at the surface due to some air escaping while being deployed underwater, it didn’t seem to be too problematic and so I was wondering if it’s necessary to have a DSMB for this purpose? The issue for me is that somehow I tend to end up misplacing my SMB quite often and so the price difference between the two makes it a more acceptable loss when it’s replacing the SMB regularly rather than the DSMB at double the cost
#scuba #scubadiving #scubadiver
LINKS

Become a fan: https://www.scubadivermag.com/join
Gear Purchases: https://www.scubadivermag.com/affiliate/dive-gear
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We partner with https://www.scuba.com and https://www.mikesdivestore.com for all your gear essentials. Consider using the affiliate link above to support the channel.

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What's the Point of Fancy dSMBs? #askmark #scuba

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