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Tourists forced to swim for six hours after boat sinks in sea

By Dominic Harris

Two Britons were among a group of 10 tourists who had to swim more than six hours to safety after their boat sank in rough seas while travelling between islands in Indonesia, it has been reported.

A further 15 people are still missing – with Britons possibly among them – after the boat went down on Saturday night as it was sailing between Lombok and the Komodo Islands.

Some survivors managed to get into a lifeboat, while others had to swim three miles to a nearby island, only to find an erupting volcano, the Daily Mail said.

They had to drink their own urine while they awaited rescue and are now recovering in hospital while search teams scour 250 miles of sea between the islands as they hunt for survivors.

Along with the two Britons, tourists from New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands are thought to be among those rescued after the boat reportedly hit a reef in bad weather during the three-day journey.

But the fate of the other 15 people on board, thought to be of various nationalities and reportedly including four Indonesian crew members and and Indonesian guide, is not yet known.

French survivor Bertrand Homassel said the boat started sinking after it was damaged in a storm.

Six people were taken to safety in a lifeboat, but the others had to keep themselves afloat for more than 12 hours before they decided to swim ashore.

Speaking from a hotel in Bima on Sumbawa island, where the survivors were taken after being rescued, he said: "People started to panic... Everyone took the decision to swim to the closest island, five kilometres away, where there was an erupting volcano."

The group was rescued yesterday after they attracted the attention of a passing boat, the newspaper said.

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