Video: Four surfers and crew rescued after 38 hours missing at sea

BREAKING_ Heart-stopping moment Aussie surfers found alive in Aceh, Indonesia 0-16 screenshot

Four Australian surfers and two Indonesian crew members reported missing after their boat was struck by a storm have been rescued after spending almost two days floating in the ocean off Indonesia.

The group, which originally comprised seven people — four Australian surfers and a crew of three Indonesian nationals — encountered bad weather while island-hopping in a wooden longboat on Sunday (13 August 2023).

On Tuesday, three of the surfers — Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short — were found floating on their surfboards. The trio were found with two crew members — captain Yunardi Ardi and Mr Kibal (full name not identified) by a local Australian captain, Grant Richardson, who volunteered to join the search.

Fellow Australian Elliot Foote — who had left the group to look for help — was located by local fishermen just hours later in a nearby location.

However, the third Indonesian crew member, named by authorities as Fifan Satria, remains missing.

Dramatic footage shows the moment that the stranded group realise they have been rescued, in the vast ocean in Aceh, off Sumatra.

Foote’s father, Peter Foote, told CNN how his son was separated from the rest of the group after he went looking for assistance.

“He left his mates bobbing in the water to go to search for help. The charter boat found them and then went and found Elliot,” Peter tells the news outlet. “I’m really happy it’s all turned out well and I hope he continues with his holiday.

“He’s in a great place to celebrate, with his girlfriend [Weisse] and 10 mates in paradise. He’s still got eight nights to enjoy, then I’m looking forward to him coming straight home.”

The group’s wooden longboat encountered bad weather and heavy rain on Sunday evening local time (13 August 2023) during a journey to the popular surf spot of Pinang island, around 150km off the Sumatran coast.

A second boat carrying the rest of the surf party successfully made it to Pinang, raising the alarm. Indonesian authorities carried out a search and rescue operation — with support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Family of the four rescued Australians have told media that surf charter vessels used their local knowledge of currents to work out where the group may have ended up.

In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon (15 August 2023), DFAT says: “The Australian Government expresses its deep gratitude” to those involved in the search and rescue efforts.

In a Tweet, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, said the government will “continue to provide support to the four Australians and their families.”

“The search continues for a crew member who is still missing,” she adds. “Our thoughts are with them and their loved ones.”

Speaking to media after returning to dry land, the group praised their rescuers and expressed concern for Satria, who remains missing. “It’s hard to think about; we just hope the best for him, his family and friends and his village,” said Foote, adding that the group now wanted the time and privacy to recover and rest.

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