Fisherman shipwrecked near WA: Nine fishermen feared dead, eleven stranded for six days after Cyclone Ilsa
A fisherman floated for 30 hours on a petrol can after one of the worst storms in more than a decade sank his boat 300km off the coast of Australia.
Another 11 fishermen were found stranded on a remote island in the Rowley Shoals – about 300km west of Broome – alongside their washed up boat at about 3pm on Monday.
Another nine men are feared to have drowned at sea during the wild storm.
Only one man from the sunken boat survived after he spent 30 hours at sea before washing ashore the island.
He managed to cling to a jerry can as he floated alone in the ocean, Aviation search and rescue expert Gordon Watt confirmed on ABC Perth radio.
The boats, which originated from Indonesia, were blown off course during the wild storm which struck the region last week.
The category five storm, which was declared one of the worst storms to hit the Western Australian coast in more than a decade, made landfall near Pardoo at midnight on Thursday.
The surviving fishermen spent the six days on the tiny island without food or water.
Australian Border Force officers who were patrolling from the sky spotted the group on Monday afternoon.
Footage shows the group of men huddled on the barren sandscape of Bedwell Island.
Items can be seen strewn across the sand.
“The survivors reported that there had been two fishing vessels with 10 crew each, but one vessel had sunk in the extreme conditions of the cyclone, ” an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The remaining vessel managed to rescue the only survivor before being washed ashore on Bedwell Island.”
They were flown to hospital for medical treatment.
Originally published as Fishermen stranded on island for six days after being swept up in Cyclone Ilsa
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