Two Spaniards in sunken boat still missing

August 20, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

BIMA:  Indonesian rescuers yesterday expanded their search for two Spanish men still missing after a tourist boat sank at the weekend, forcing survivors to swim hours to dry land and drink their own urine.

The boat, which was carrying 20 foreigners and five Indonesians, went down Saturday after being hit by a storm and running into a reef as it travelled from Lombok island to Komodo island, a popular tourist destination.

Eighteen tourists and all the Indonesians on board have so far been rescued.

The missing Spaniards had been with a first group of foreigners who were saved on Sunday after swimming for miles to a volcanic island, said Budiawan, search and rescue chief on Lombok.

They had separated from the others in a bid to reach dry land quicker, said the official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

He said rescuers were yesterday expanding their search to focus on the eastern side of Sangeang, the island that the others in the group had managed to reach. “This morning we deployed five boats from our search and rescue team, the weather is good today so we hope we can find them,” said Budiawan.

He added local fishermen working at night had also been asked to look for the missing tourists.

Fishermen rescued a second group on Monday, made up of eight foreigners and the Indonesians, who were the boat crew and a tour guide.