MERSING, April 7 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate three foreign scuba divers who went missing in the waters of Pulau Tokong Sanggol, near here, at noon yesterday, was halted this evening.

Mersing Maritime Zone director, Maritime Commander Khairul Nizam Misran said the operation, which started today at 7am, was halted at 6.30pm because there was no new indicator and limited visibility.

He said the agencies involved in the operation were the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Special Service Group (GGK) Iskandar Camp Mersing, Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), Malaysian Civil Defence Force and Fisheries Department.

“Today, we focused our search operation via diving involving seven divers from JBPM and 14 members from GGK. However, we will focus on the assets available tomorrow.

“Nevertheless, we have assets at all times at sea in the waters of Mersing which will assist in the SAR operation continuously,” he told a media conference at the search and rescue operation forward base at the Mersing District Council Public Jetty here today.

Commenting further, Khairul Nizam said that he was made to understand that the three divers did not have any beacon which made it difficult to locate them, especially at night.

“I received information from a diver who was saved today (Kristine Grodem), that they don’t have a beacon. As such, the possibility of us seeing them at night is rather slim,” he said.

Earlier, Grodem, 35, who is a Norwegian, was found floating, complete with her diving suit and equipment by a tugboat heading to Thailand from Indonesia today at 8.15am.

The efforts to locate the missing trio — British national Adrian Peter, 46, his 14-year-old son Nathen Renze who is a Dutch national and French woman Alexia Alexandra, 18, — will continue tomorrow. — Bernama