A group of Sydney friends who survived more than a day lost at sea after their boat sank in wild Indonesian weather are praying that a crew member still missing from Sunday’s accident will be found alive.
Steph Weisse, Jordan Short and Will Teagle spent 36 hours floating on surfboards off the coast of Aceh before rescuers found them on Tuesday.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Four Aussie surfers lost at sea say their bond is stronger than ever.
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Weisse’s partner Elliot Foote separated from the group to search for help and battled pouring rain and hallucinations before he was found shortly after his pals.
Recovering on dry land, the friends said a boat worker still unaccounted for was not far from their thoughts.
“He’s still out there and it’s hard to think about and we just hope the best for him,” Foote, 30, said.
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He expanded further in a social media post on Thursday, saying his emotions were a mix of “elation, guilt, complete adrenaline, anxiety, pure joy and happiness”.
“From the moment the boat went under until the time we were reunited on Pinang Island, uncertainty was the only certainty,” Foote said.
“I didn’t know if my eight friends had made it to the island on the Sunday night before us, if my girlfriend Steph, Will and Jordan had been found and rescued before me or if I needed to get out there and find them.
“My deepest thoughts are with the family of Fifan, our joyful young guide, who hasn’t been found. I wish there was more we could have done to help you, and that will stay with me as a burden to bear.
“I understand the loneliness you must’ve felt in those hours by yourself, and my condolences to your family.”
Steph Weisse, Elliot Foote, Will Teagle, and Jordan Short were rescued after more than 36 hours at sea. They are hopeful a missing boat worker will be found alive. Credit: 7NEWS
Captain Yunardi Ardi said the powerboat capsized after being hit by big waves from the back and side.
“The foreigners started paddling, we the Indonesians stayed floating,” Ardi said.
“My missing friend looked weak as he was carried by a wave to the east towards Singkil.”
Two other crew members were confirmed to have been found.
On Wednesday evening, a crowdfunding effort was established by the surviving group to assist the family of the missing man and to compensate search crews who helped rescue them.
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said Australia’s thoughts were with the family of the missing crew member.
Elliot Foote separated from his friends to go find help Credit: Elliot Foote/Instagram
Meanwhile, the Australian friends have revealed they were unsure whether they would be rescued.
“There were some moments out there when we were all quite nervous. We didn’t quite know what the outcome was going (to be),” Foote said.
“(But I) couldn’t be happier to have these three with me. They’re all so strong and every single moment they just knew what to do.
“We just took charge and followed each other and there was no arguments ever, we were just strong as a unit.”
Foote thanked the Australian and Indonesian governments for their co-operation and the friends who would not stop searching.
“We’re really happy to be back on land now — dry, hydrated, fed, back with our friends,” he said.
Captain Yunardi Ardi said the powerboat capsized after being hit by big waves from the back and side. Credit: 7NEWS
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had contacted Indonesian President Joko Widodo to express thanks for the search and rescue efforts.
The group of Australians had been in the Banyak Islands off Sumatra to celebrate Foote’s 30th birthday.
When tossed into the ocean, the quartet were crossing from Nias to Pinang Island, a surf retreat.
Another boat, with eight of Foote’s mates, sought shelter at a small island midway before reaching Pinang and raising the alarm.
– With AAP
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