SAPE: Eight foreigners and five Indonesians were rescued yesterday two days after their tourist boat sank during a storm in the archipelago, with one man describing how they huddled in a lifeboat and floated in life jackets to survive.
The rescue brought to 23 the number of people saved since the vessel carrying 25 sank Saturday as it headed from Lombok island to Komodo island, famed as the home of the Komodo dragon, the world’s biggest lizard.
Among them were 18 foreign tourists, from New Zealand, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy. Some of the group rescued Sunday had to swim hours to the closest island, Sangeang, even though there was a volcano erupting on it at the time.
Two foreigners remain missing. Those rescued yesterday were found in the early hours some 60 miles off the coast of Sumbawa island, close to Sangeang, search official Budiawan said.
A Dutchman in the group said that they were in the water for about 40 hours, taking turns to spend time in the lifeboat -- which seated seven people -- and floating in the water in the life jackets.
“So we had this system, and in the beginning it was not easy ... but later on the system went on, and we changed and changed,” Jan van Ommen said from the town of Sape on Sumbawa, where the group was taken after being rescued.