The four-day mission to find Nathen Chesters, the last of the four scuba divers who went missing off Malaysia on 6 April, has become a search and recovery operation, after the boy’s rescued father Adrian reported that the 14-year-old had died beside him during their long drift in the South China Sea.
Indonesian authorities are understood to have taken over the search for the teenager’s body from the Malaysian emergency services, because the surviving divers had drifted some 100km south towards the border between the two countries. Their rescue yesterday (9 April) was reported on Divernet and they are now known to have been found not far from Indonesia's Bintan island.
Nathen Chesters, who had Dutch nationality, had remained with his British father during their ordeal but had eventually became “too weak and could not survive”, the Coast Guard were told by Adrian Chesters after he had been rescued. He believed that his son had died of exhaustion.
Father and son had remained with the other trainee on their Advanced Open Water Diver course, French woman Alexia Molina, after becoming separated from their dive-boat near the small island of Tokong Sanggol last Wednesday. Their Norwegian instructor Kristine Grodem had been parted from her students and was rescued the day after the separation.
The boat skipper, who had not seen the divers surface 20min into their second dive and had been slow to report that they were missing, was arrested by police after being found to have taken methamphetamines.