Two still missing after tourist boat en route to Komodo Island sinks

Two international tourists are still missing after their boat sank off the Indonesian Island of Sumbawa, but local fishermen late Sunday night found 13 more survivors clinging to a lifeboat.

1408290029538_wps_9_Survivors_rescued_after_aAmong the ten rescued are two Britons and passengers from Germany, France, New Zealand and Spain

The two still missing are believed to have let go of the lifeboat and tried swimming towards Sangiang Island, which was visible from where their ship sunk. Local authorities say the search effort for those still missing is now focusing on the water near the island.

Mataram search and rescue operational leader Lalu Wahyu Efendi said the 13 who were rescued — eight tourists and five Indonesian crew — were found at about 10pm on Sunday local time (midnight AEST).

They had drifted 100 kilometres from the site of where their tourist boat sank on Saturday night. Some were inside the lifeboat, which was in good condition, but it was too small to accommodate all of them, so others were in the water hanging on.

The 13 rescued included the Indonesian crew and a guide, while the tourists came from Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. They joined 10 others from New Zealand, the Netherlands, France, Britain and Spain, who were rescued on Saturday night.

The second group are being treated for shock, exhaustion and dehydration in a clinic at the port of Sape, West Sumbawa, and have not yet been questioned.

It is unclear where the two missing tourists are from. Their fate is unknown but grave fears must be held for their safety. The tour was organised by a local Lombok firm, Antariksa. The rescued tour guide, Sali, told Fairfax Media the boat had sprung a leak in heavy weather. There were enough life jackets on board for all 25 passengers, he said.

Four New Zealanders, two Germans, one French citizen, a Briton and two people from Spain were in the first group to be rescued on Saturday night from the “phinisi” style boat that sank near the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, en route from Lombok to Komodo.

Suryaman, the head of search and rescue for the eastern Indonesian region of Bima, said the engine of the tourist sailing boat Versace Amara had failed at about 1.15am on Saturday, about 14 hours after setting off from Lombok.

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Sources: smh.com.au

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