Indonesian fishermen rescued from Western Australian coast

Australian authorities have rescued a group of fishermen who were shipwrecked on a tiny island off the coast of Western Australia.

The group of 11 men survived for six days without food or water before being rescued on Monday night, while nine others died in extreme weather.

Two fishing vessels from Indonesia were caught up in the powerful winds and torrential downpour of Cyclone Ilsa which impacted waters off the coast of Broome.

One vessel sunk due to the cyclone, with nine members of its crew perishing in the extreme conditions.

The sole survivor of that boat managed to be rescued by the second boat, with the vessel then washing ashore on Bedwell Island, approximately 313km off the west of Broome.

The men remained on the deserted island until they were detected by crew on an Australian Border Force (ABF) plane who saw the group in distress as a part of a planned surveillance mission.

ABF then alerted the Australian Maritme Safety Authority (AMSA), who sent the Challenger rescue aircraft to investigate.

“Upon arrival, the Challenger confirmed the presence of 11 people on the island and visual evidence of a beached vessel and a makeshift camp,” an AMSA spokesperson said.

A rescue helicopter was then deployed to rescue the group of 11 men, who were taken to Broome and were met by the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

The men are currently on the mainland being provided with care and medical support, AMSA said.

Originally published as Indonesian fishermen rescued from tiny island off Australian coast

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