Aussie surfers found floating out at sea 36 hours after their boat vanished | World | News


Four surfers who went while travelling to a remote Indonesian island for a 30th birthday party have been found after floating in the ocean for 36 hours.

Indonesian National Search and Rescue agency Nias Island chief Octavianto said a rescue team of more than 20 police, military and volunteers utilised small boats to battle heavy weather in order to find the missing Australians.

But it was reportedly an Australian expat friendly with the surfers that eventually discovered those that were missing.

Footage showed the moment Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short, as well as one of their Indonesian crew members were found, as they all screamed with joy.

Ms Weisse’s boyfriend Elliot, who was celebrating his 30th, was later found on a nearby island having swum to get help.

A group of 12 friends set off on Sunday (August 13) in two small speed boats for Pinang Island, roughly 31 miles from the North Nias port in Nias Island.

When conditions became difficult, one of the boats transporting several crew members and six guests decided to shelter on Sarang Alu island, on the way to their destination.

But the four remaining guests, including the birthday boy Elliot, continued towards their destination, Nias Search and Rescue Agency said in a statement on Monday (August 14).

The resort on Pinang Island later reported that the boat with 10 passengers had safely arrived, but the other vessel had not been seen.

Local authorities said the search had been hampered by ongoing bad weather and because the missing vessel did not have a tracking device.

After a frantic 26 hours of searching, the first three guests, alongside a crew member, were found floating on their surfboards in the middle of the ocean on Tuesday morning (August 15).

Elliot was found three miles away on a nearby island 90 minutes later. He became separated from the trio after paddling off toward the island in a quest to get help.

The group’s frantic friends back at the resort have spent the last two days appealing for public assistance in the search.

Elliot’s father Peter Foote was speaking with reporters at the time when the first three were found.

Confirmation then came that Elliot had also been found while Mr Foote was doing a TV interview at the front of his home.

“It’s saying they’re all found,” Mr Foote’s partner was heard yelling from the balcony, with her phone held in her hand. Mr Foote then received a text message confirming the news.

“Hey Dad, Elliot here. I am alive, safe now, love you. Chat later,” his son had texted. A relieved Mr Foote said he was keen to speak to Elliot as soon as possible.

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