The four Aussie surfers who were rescued after their boat capsized off Indonesia have spoken out about the terrifying moment they realised they were in danger.
Steph Weisse, Jordan Short, Elliot Foote and Will Teagle went missing on Sunday night alongside three Indonesian crew members when their wooden longboat travelling from Nias Island to Pinang Island got caught in bad weather.
All those on board, apart from one, were miraculously saved after treading water and clinging to surfboards in the middle of the ocean for 36 hours.
Crew member Fifan Marongo, however, is still yet to be found.
Their 50km journey across the Indian Ocean was cut short just after 6pm when they realised something was very wrong as bad weather set in and the vessel started filling with water.
‘When the first one [wave] came in, Jordie’s [Jordan Short] like all right guys this could be serious,’ Mr Foote said in a video recorded not long after he was rescued.
‘I was like all right sweet, grab me that, grab me something warm, grab me my knife, grab me this.’
‘We all started grabbing s**t.’
Fifan Marongo (pictured), an Indonesian man in his 20s, was a crew member aboard the boat and has not yet been accounted for with search efforts continuing on Wednesday on the western side of Sumatra
The surfer turned to his partner Ms Weisse and made sure she had a life jacket on.
‘I was like everybody get the f**k out now,’ he said.
‘Will dived out, Jordie ran to the front of the boat.’
‘The boat started going like this and Jordie’s reaching into board bags and I’m going get the board bags, get the board bags.’
Mr Foote and Mr Teagle then climbed back on board to get as many surfboards out as possible for the group.
Frantic search efforts were conducted over the course of two nights before Australian skipper Grant Richardson located Ms Weisse, Mr Short and Mr Teagle in the ocean near Aceh around 11am Sydney time on Tuesday.
Mr Foote (pictured, left) and his long-term partner Ms Weisse (pictured, right) were among the four Aussie surfers who were lost at sea after their boat capsized in rough weather during an island-hopping trip in Indonesia on Tuesday
Will Teagle (pictured, left) and Jordan Short (pictured, right) were found alongside Ms Weisse just after 11am Sydney time on Tuesday after a long 36 hours adrift
Mr Foote was located 5km away on a nearby island 90 minutes later after being separated from the others in an attempt to get help.
Mohammad Iqbal, the captain of the boat, and resort manager Junardi Akhmad were also saved during the rescue operation.
A privately chartered plane spotted the remains of the capsized boat on Tuesday.
However, there are concerns for third crew member Fifan Marongo, an Indonesian man in his 20s, who has not been seen since.
‘Now our thoughts are with the Indonesian family and friends of the missing one,’ Mr Foote said.
‘He’s still out there. It’s hard to think about. We just hope for the best for him.’
This is the incredible moment Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short and an Indonesian crew member were located by Australian skipper Grant Richardson after 36 hours lost at sea (pictured)
Tonggor Gultom, an official in Nias with Basarnas, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency said the search operation has widened on Wednesday in hopes of finding Mr Marongo, with predictions the crew member may have ended up on the western side of Sumatra.
‘We continue the search until Monday. After that we will evaluate the operation, whether or not it should be continued,’ he told Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Our standard operating procedure is to launch search and rescue operation for a week [and] after that make the decision if it should be extended or not.’
The four surfers did not know the fate of their eight other friends on a separate boat for the time they were at sea, Mr Foote said, later finding out the second boat carrying the others made it to Pinang Island after taking shelter from the weather behind another island.
The four Aussies and three Indonesian crewmen went missing in a storm during a 50km voyage from Nias Island to Pinang Island
The four friends were travelling on a wooden longboat (pictured) when large waves caused by a storm sunk it
‘I just wanted to say thank you so much to the Australian government and the Indonesian government for banding together, pulling through in the rescue effort that went out there last couple of days’, he told The Age.
‘Massive thanks to our friends here on the island.’
‘They did such an amazing job … to pull through, to not stop searching the whole time and there were some moments out there [when] we were quite nervous and didn’t quite know what the outcome was going to be but we just banded together,’ he added.
Mr Foote said he and his three friends were a strong unit, working together to survive the three gruelling days adrift.
‘I’m just so proud of her [Steph Weisse] and the boys. Every single minute there were decisions being made and they were the right decisions,’ he said.
Mr Foote said the four were happy to be back on land, dry, hydrated and back with their friends.
The four were among a group of 12 Australians holidaying in Sumatra to celebrate Elliot’s upcoming 30th birthday.