He was a good swimmer, says mum of drowned French tourist

He was a good swimmer, says mum of drowned French tourist

KUANTAN - French tourist Jerome Philippe Laurent, who was found dead on Thursday after going missing while snorkelling, was a good swimmer, said his mother.

Brigitte Laurent, 55, said her son frequently went for snorkelling trips and could hold his breath underwater for three minutes.

"He was a very active and sporty individual," she said when met at the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan mortuary here yesterday.

The body of the medical student from Villebon-sur-Yvette, France, was found floating in the waters off Pulau Tioman two days after he went missing while snorkelling.

The 24-year-old had gone snorkelling alone near the Berjaya Tioman Resort at about 3pm on Tuesday. When he failed to return by 5.30pm, a friend alerted the police.

Following a search, his body was found at 2.15pm on Thursday, about 300m from where he was snorkelling.

The tragedy came three months after Briton Gareth David Huntley was found dead following a jungle trek on Tioman.

Brigitte said Jerome, the second of three siblings, had come to Malaysia with three friends.

"The last I saw him was on Aug 24 when he left France. He arrived in Malaysia the next day. He first went to Taman Negara before heading to Tioman," she said.

A post-mortem was performed on his body on Friday.

The case had been classified as sudden death, said Rompin OCPD Deputy Supt Johari Jahaya.

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