Indon tour boat sinks: Survivors swim 6 hours, drink own urine before rescue

After their boat from Lombok to Komodo island sank on Saturday, ten tourists swam six hours to the nearest land, an active volcanic island, to wait for help.

Fortunately, rescuers finally came on Sunday.

The Bali vessel went down on Saturday in the midst of a storm. Fifteen people, who comprised five Indonesians crew and 10 tourists whose nationalities are still unknown, are still missing. 

Among those who were rescued were Britons, Spaniards, Dutch, Germans, French and New Zealanders.


The survivors in a house in Bima, Nusa Tenggara. Photo: AFP

A French survivor, Bertrand Homassel, recalled six people being in the lifeboat, while others tried to cling on to safety by climbing onto the roof of the boat that had not completely sunk yet.

"We waited until midday on Saturday. We were five kilometres from the coast and there were many big waves separating us from the coast.

"People started to panic... Everyone took the decision to swim to the closest island, where there was an erupting volcano."

He said they then swam for six hours and arrived on the island, Sangeang Api, just after the sun had set. 

Spent the night at volcanic island

The survivors spent the night there and got by with drinking their own urine and eating leaves.

As a boat passed by, the survivors waved their life jackets to catch their attention. They were then taken to the nearby Indonesian town of Bima.

Homassel said: "I was really very lucky."

Search and rescue officials said that efforts were still ongoing to find the 15 missing people.

Source: Metro, AFP