Australian authorities have rescued 11 Indonesian fishermen who survived six days without food on remote desert Bedwell Island in the northwest of the country after their boats capsized in Cyclone Ilsa, leaving eight others missing.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported this Wednesday in a statement that the group was traveling on two boats, one of which capsized with nine people -of whom only one has been found alive- while the other -with ten- ran aground at Bedwell, some 300 kilometers from the mainland coast.
The eleven survivors spent six days without water or food until they were notified by a patrol plane and rescued on Monday night, the agency says.
The AMSA does not specify if it has started a search and rescue operation for the eight missing, while the survivor of that sunken ship arrived in Bedwell after drifting for 30 hours clinging to a drum.
The fact that the fishermen have survived for so long is “extraordinary,” Gordon Watt, a search and rescue expert with PHI Aviation who was involved in the rescue, told Australian public broadcaster ABC.
The survivors, who are receiving medical assistance, are in good health and will be repatriated to Indonesia as soon as possible, reports ABC.
The shipwreck occurred during the passage last week of Cyclone Ilsa, which reached a maximum category five before making landfall in northwest Australia with sustained winds of 213 kilometers per hour, although it did not leave casualties or major material damage when it reached the mainland island.
Such powerful cyclones are not common in Australia, although from time to time one hits the north of the oceanic country, such as Category 5 Cyclone Yasi, which swept through the northeastern state of Queensland in February 2011, killing one and many others. damage.