Published: Sunday June 24, 2012 MYT 4:30:00 PM
Updated: Sunday June 24, 2012 MYT 6:09:47 PM
Found - six scuba divers who went missing off Pulau Tioman (Updated)
By ONG HAN SEAN
KUANTAN: Six divers who went missing following a diving trip off Pulau Tioman have been found safe after they spent 21 hours floating at sea.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) district enforcement chief Maritime Capt Abdul Aziz Idrus said a local tugboat, Kencana Makmur, located and rescued the divers about 20 nautical miles north of Tulai Island, about 3km from Chebeh Island in Tioman here, Sunday.
The six divers were Yang Jia Xing, 26, Lim Kong Hooi, 27, Leong Li Kar, 26, Maggie Lim, 27 (all Malaysians), Chinese national Xu Zhiming, 33, and Singaporean Hu Jin Jie, 25.
They were found at about 9am.
"Mersing Maritime Base informed our East Region Operation Centre at 4pm Saturday that the divers have not emerged after starting their dive at 12pm Saturday.
"We activated Kuantan's operation centre at 4.30pm and mounted a search and rescue operation. Three of our boats, KM Gemia, Rescue Boat 6 and Flash Boat 14, joined by the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Pahang and Kuantan Marine Police's PA 52 boat, were deployed," Capt Abdul Aziz told a press conference at the Kuantan MMEA headquarters.
He said the operation was stopped after three hours due to limited visibility during the night.
The team continued the search at 7am Sunday with additional boats from the Navy and the police's diving team before Kencana Makmur found the missing divers two hours later while on its route.
"They were in a seven-people group, and only one of them surfaced at 1.45pm (Saturday).
"A report was then lodged at the Pulau Tioman Marine Park," said Capt Abdul Aziz, adding that the Kuantan district maritime investigation department is looking into the cause of the incident.