Monday, February 20, 2012

Search for Australian tourists missing off east coast of Bali

Indonesian authorities say they are searching for a boat carrying four Australian tourists feared lost at sea off the east coast of Bali.

The boat owner, Ayi Fajri Iskandar, says he alerted Bali search and rescue authorities after the crew told him its engine had failed late yesterday afternoon.

When search teams contacted the crew by marine radio several hours later they were still adrift and unable to restart the engine.

The last contact was around midnight local time.

Mr Iskandar says it was carrying four Australians who are all members of the one family. But he says the authorities have incorrectly noted their names.

While the boat has been missing for more than 24 hours, its owner says it is large and seaworthy and he is confident it will not sink.

The passengers were on their way from Bali to Nusa Lembongan, just off the east coast, for a three-day diving and snorkelling holiday.

Search and rescue teams say their efforts have been hampered by bad weather.

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