Boat Carrying Surfers From Nias To Pinang Missing At Sea
Four Australians and three Indonesian crew were onboard when a storm struck. Updates and timeline.
Four Australians on a surfing trip to Indonesia for a friend’s 30th birthday are missing off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province after their wooden speed boat struck rough weather en route to the remote Banyak Islands.
A search and rescue effort was launched on Monday in a bid to find the small vessel which disappeared on Sunday night. Three Indonesian crew were also onboard.
“A new Aussie skipper just came ashore to review maps, wind, tides and swell directions,” friends on the Banyak Islands told Stab last evening. “Grant Richardson captain of the Sea Mi Amor has taken off to search this area 20mins ago which will take 3 hrs to get there. They will not be returning until the boys and Steph have been found. Boats already on route to the new location include: pulse and dream. Other boats that have not responded are seriti, star cota II, jiwa, and surf camp assistance. UHF channel 16.”
The four Australians are Elliot Foote, Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short.
The surfers had been travelling in Sumatra and on the island of Nias with eight other friends to celebrate Foote’s 30th birthday.
They were on two separate boats from Nias, 130 kilometres west of Sumatra, to the small island of Pinang in the Banyaks when they hit a storm. One of the boats reached the destination after taking shelter, but the other has not been seen since.
On Monday night, as Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade chartered a private plane to join the desperate search, Foote’s father Peter said they were holding out hope the group would be found safely.
“They have life jackets on board, they had food and water and there is shelter on the boat. It has a roof,” he said from his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“Apparently the waves weren’t that problematic. It was just the visibility in the storm. We’re all hoping they’ve either run out of fuel or they got lost and missed the island or more likely there may be an engine failure on the boat, which unfortunately doesn’t have any GPS.”
The travelling party in Indonesia are all friends of Foote, a carpenter who went to school at Scots College in Sydney and had lived until recently in Bronte before moving to Mullumbimby to live with Weisse, his girlfriend, who is also 30. His father told The Sydney Morning Herald they intended to rent out bungalows on the small island of Pinang and stay there for 10 days.
“Elliot is turning 30 in September and for his 30th birthday I sent him and his mates there on surfing trip,” he said.
“There are a few Scots boys there, mates just from the beach in Bronte, and he’s recently moved to Mullumbimby, so there are some mates from there as well.”
Weisse, who is from Mullumbimby, works in a gardening nursery. Teagle is a landscaper from Bronte.
The eight friends whose boat did reach Pinang were “all beside themselves at the island”, Foote’s father said.
1715 Beginning of adverse weather
1820 East coast of KV (SARANG ALUE) Island, significant adverse weather.
1820 Boat 2 takes shelter behind KV Island
1820 BOAT 1 Is 1.1.5 miles NNE of Boat 1
1820 LAST SIGHTING OF BOAT 1
2045 BOAT 2 LEAVES SHELTER BEHIND KV ISLAND AND MAKES WAY TO PAULUA PINANG ISLAND THROUGH ADVERSE WEATHER.
2150 BOAT 2 ARRIVE PALUA PINANG ISLAND
2200 BASARNAS (INDO SEARCH&RESCUE) WERE INFORM BY PINANG SURF RESORT ISLAND BOAT HAD NOT ARRIVED AND WAS CONSIDERED MISSING
2230 BOAT 2 LOCAL SKIPPER WENT BACK OUT TO SEARCH FOR BOAT 1 – SOME LIGHTS WERE VISIBLE ON HORIZON AS A POTENTIAL AND UNSSUCCESSFUL
2330 BOAT 2 RETURNED TO SHORE AT PINANG ISLAND SURF RESORT
AT THIS STAGE THEY WAS NO LONGER ANY ACTIVE SEARCH EFFORT BEING UNDERTAKEN AND BOAT 1’S LOCATION UNKNOWN
0100 AN AUSTRALIAN BASED AMSA SKIPPER WHO IS APART OF THE BOYS SURF CREW NOTIFIES AMSA ABOUT MISSING BOAT, PROVIDES MISSING PERSONS INFORMATION, PHONE NUMBERS ETC.
0730 AMSA NOTIFIES THE SKIPPER THAT THEY MANAGED TO SEND A TEXT MESSAGE THAT WAS RECEIVED BY THE PHONES OF MISSING PERSONS WILL TEAGLE AND JORDAN SHORT.
0930 AUSTRALIAN CONSULATE IN JAKARTA MADE CONTACT WITH AUSTRALIAN SKIPPER TO INFORM BOYS ON PINANG THEY ARE AWARE. CONSULATE MADE CONTACT WITH BASARNAS (INDO SEAR & RESCUE)
1100 INDONESIAN AUTHORITIES : POLISI, NAVY AND SEARCH AND RESCUE ARRIVE AT PALUA PINANG AND INFORM US OF 3 SEARCH VESSELS IN WATER. VESSELS ARE SMALL BOATS. THE INDONESIAN AUTHORITIES ARE TRYING TO WORK OUT A COURSE OF ACTION
THIS IS THE SEARCH AREA PROVIDED BY BASARNAS
THE ABOVE PHOTO INDICATES POSITION DEPARTURE OF LAISING BASARNAS VESSEL ON GROUND. THEY ARRIVED AT PINANG ISLAND TO OBTAINED ADDITIONAL INFOMATION FROM THE BOYS.
ACCORDING TO BASARNAS AND WEATHER PATTERN OF PREVIOUS 16 HOURS THE KEY SEARCH AREA WAS TO BE TO THE EAST OF PINANG AND BETWEEN SEARCH AREA MARKERS A&D
1130 AUS CONSULATE INFORMED THE GROUP ON PINANG ISLAND THAT INTER AGENCY EFFORTS WERE BEING MADE WITH BEYOND JUST BASARNAS TO INCLUDE MILITARY ASSETS – NONE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME
ADDITIONAL EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO INFORM MARINE POLICE AND AMSA TO ENCOURAGE INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
1200 BOYS ON STAND BY AWAITING FURTHER INFO
1430 AUSTRALIAN JOURNALIST BREAKS STORY FROM JAKARTA
1500 FAMILY MEMBER OF ONE OF THE MISSING PERSONS ORGANIZES PRIVATE SEARCH AIRCRAFT TO FLY FROM JAKARTA TO SEARCH AREA AND AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT OFFERS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THIS VESSEL
1500 AIRCRAFT TAKE FLIGHT WITH 6 PERSONNAL FROM INDONESIA SEARCH AND RESCUE ON BOARD. ONE IS THE HEAD OFFICER OF BASARNAS (INDONESIAN SEARCH AND RESCUE)
1530 AUSTRALIAN CONSOLATE IN INDONESIA CONFIRMS THAT PERSONNEL FROM AUSTRALIAN EMBASSEY ARE ON WAY TO PINANG ISLAND TO HELP CO ORDINATE SEARCH EFFORTS
1535 airplane FLIES OVER PALUA PINANG ISLAND in search pattern
1800 The following Intel received from BASANAR VIA PHOTOS::::::::
1830 Australian Consulate in Jakarta provides information that search mission concluded at 1530. Flight returned with no success and is no longer available for the search mission tomorrow. Consulate lets us in know that they have not been able to source a flight for the next morning Aus GOVT can not deploy any assets in Indonesia due to Indonesian sovereignty laws.
1830 No active search is in place.
1830 Friends and family make efforts to secure private flight charters to continue the search in the morning and entire day of 15/8/23. At present moment there is no air search mission in place for the morning or following day. Aus govt is trying to provide more resources but say there hands are tied..
1845 IT IS NOW MORE THAT 24 HOURS SINCE LAST CONTACT WITH MISSING BOAT.
1845 It is clear that air support is essential to continue the search in the AM.
1847 FAMILIES OF MISSING PERSONS MANAGE TO ORGANIZE A PRIVATELY CHARTERED FLIGHT TO COMMENCE THE SEARCH MISSION AT 0800 15.8.23
1847 AUS CONSOLATE TO BE CONTACTED TO APPROVE PRIVATE SEARCH AIROPLANE CHARTER.
1852 NO CURRENT SEARCH IN PLACE FOR MISSING PERSONS AS TIME SPENT LOST AT SEA HITS 26 HOURS.
1900 GRANT RICHARDSON, BOAT CAPTAIN OF :::: SEA MI – AMOR. REGO NO. ARRIVES TO PALUA PINANG TO COMMENCES AN OVERNIGHT SCOUTING OPERATION.
AREA TO BE SEARCHED OVERNIGHT ON CATAMARAN WITH CREW OF SIX PEOPLE INCLUDING SURVIVNG AUSTRALIAN PERSONS FROM BOAT 1 :::
CATAMARAN PRIVATE SEARCH BOAT
SAT PHONE NUMBER OF SEARCH CATAMARAN :::::: +8816523423426
6 PERSONNEL INCLUDING AUSTRALIAN survivors from boat 1 to take crew on overnight search.
AREA TO BE SEARCHED OVERNIGHT::: see below. (Captain said search area will go further south then drawn line)
1916 main phone used for comms on pinang island handed over to new comms manager, as island crew member goes on overnight search party. Phone code is 2653. Phone number is : +61406587097.
AUS CONSULATE CONTACTS : PANDU, SAM – TO BE CONTACTED RE APPROVAL FOR PRIVATE CHARTER AIRCRAFT IN MORNING.
1920 OVERNIGHT SEARCH CREW DEPARTS WITH PRIVATE ‘SEA MI AMOR’ BOAT CAPTAINED BY GRANT RICHARDSON. 3 SURVIVING MEMBERS OF BOAT 1 DEPART WITH GRANT RICHARDSON + 2 OTHER CREW MEMBERS FROM PINANG ISLAND TO SEARCH OVERNIGHT VIA BOAT.
1741 PULSE SURF CHARTER NOTIFIES COMMS THAT THEY ARE ON WAY TO JOIN OVERNIGHT SEARCH
1753 AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY MINISTER STEPHEN SCOTT CONTACTED AND INFORMED ABOUT CURRENT OVERNIGHT SEARCH MISSION. REQUEST MADE FOR AIR SUPPORT AND IF POSSIBLE AUSTRALIAN SEARCH ASSETS in morning and for full day of 15/8/23.
2012 Message from “the dream charter boat” – “hi, our boat is leaving sibolga monday 4pm. Just right now. I already texted my surfguide to keep an eye. If they were crossing from banyaks to nias, they should be more babi or even in the south. You’re gonna find them. Stay positive, they still have life jackets, just need time.”
20:22 Phone call to susi private air charter to confirm if aus consulate has approved private air charter search for morning. Response was No confirmation, but expecting an answer by 2030.
2034 APPROVAL CONFIRMED FROM AUS EMBASSY / CONSULATE FOR PRIVATE CHARTER TO COMMENCE AIR SEARCH IN MORNING
2113 Message received from night search crew. SEA MI – AMOR. “Watch our track, we’ve had an update. Heading further south based on info received regarding currents”
2115 Local Indonesian community prepares to continue boat search early 15/8/23. Lots of local fishing boats etc. being fuelled up and the village community creating plans. Local village community has not stopped working and are in contact with local INDO authorities to collaborate on search efforts.
2121 28.5 hours since last sighting of Missing boat
22:00 Jordan Shorts’ family friend Steve Stuart located in Medan with background in search and rescue informs of 2 large surf charter Boats en route to assist in search effort. One coming from Asu and one from Sibolga. They are in contact with the overnight search mission (Grant Richardson captain) and will collaborate to expand the search area.
1024 UPDATE FROM GRANT RICHARDSON (SEA MI AMORE). “WE ARE HEADING ON A BEARING OF 131 SE DOWN TO APPROXIMATELY 1.29.000N , 97.50.000 E”
2230 Local village boat with captain from boat 2 (boat that arrived 13/8/23) launches local night search. captain from boat 2 that made it to Pinang Island has coordinated local efforts for 24 hours straight.
0055 33 hours since boat departed, and 32 hours since adverse weather event and lost at sea. Currently a crew aboard a well equipped catamaran sailing vessel captained by Grant Richard (Sea Mi Amore) is heading in a south East direction and is located at 1º 45.352 N 97º 43.668 E .
Captain Richard is an experienced sailor of the region whom has a vast knowledge of the tidal and current movements within the island region as he frequently uses the tides, currents and winds to sail around region
Grant is highly confident of most likely location of missing vessel.
Adding to this we have comms from Steve Stuart in Medan who is also collaborating with Grant on the location effort and dispatch of water vessels. En Route are two Surf Charter Vessels who are highly experienced in the area and will be connected with the SEA MI AMORE EFFORT.
BASARNA HAVE CONFIRMED THE SEARCH TEAMS OF AT LEAST 3 BOATS WILL RETURN FROM 8AM AND CONTINUE THERE SEARCH.
A PRIVATE PLANE HAS BEEN SECURED BETWEEN THE FAMILIES AND AUST EMBASSY AND IS SET FOR DEPARTURE BY IN THE MORNING.
ALL OF THESE EFFORTS NEED TO CONTINUE TO BE COORDINATED AS A GROUP EFFORT BETWEEN ALL PARTIES TO ACHIEVE GREATEST OUTCOME.
THE SATELLITE PHONE NUMBER OF SEA MI AMORE BOAT IS
THE TRACKING LINK OF CURRENT MISSION (DEPARTED FROM 2º 02.587 N 97º 23.528 E IS:
It is currently believed by the Sea Mi Amore that the search area undertaken in the afternoon of 14/8/23 was not in the most effective location.
SEA MI AMORE Overnight search boat tracking link has been shared with the Indo Consulate and Aus Embassy / AMSA.
0200 PRIVATE AIRCRAFT SCHEDULE CONFIRMED BY CHARTER COMPANY:
PADANG – GNS 915 – 10.50, GNS SEARCH – 11:15 – 16:15
THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN PROVIDED AS THE AERIAL SEARCH AREA UNDERTAKEN ON THE AFTERNOON OF 14.8.23 and advice has been asked by SUSI Air for any more search area recommendations.
0230 Marcus from Pulse Surf Charter confirmed to be joining search at daylight
0309 Message recieved from Sea Mi Amore night search boat.
We have travelled south east form p Pinang
start point 2.02.067N 97.25.51E with a bearing of app 130t
we travelled to 1.36.92N 97.54.13E
we are working a 2.5nm line to the east parallel to those coordinate north bound 315t
the current appears to be se set ¡ 1.2knots we have a 5knot NNW
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