One of the four Australians missing in Indonesia after their charter boat ran into a storm on Sunday night had only just shared his excitement to be back in the country in an Instagram post.
Elliot Foote, Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short were among a dozen Australians and five Indonesians who were travelling in two wooden speedboats in the waters around Sarang Alu and Banyak islands in the Aceh Singkil district when they encountered the wild weather.
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The boats had departed North Nias port on Nias island, about 150km from Indonesia’s Sumatra island, bound for a resort on Pinang Island.
When they hit the tough weather conditions one of the boats stopped at a nearby island for shelter, while the other continued on.
The boat that had stopped safely arrived at Pinang Island, while the other vessel, which carried the four missing Aussies, did not make it.
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Foote had posted on Instagram just a day before the incident writing that it was “so good to be back in Indo after so many years”.
“Starting the trip off with hiking in the North Sumatran jungle and seeing orangutans was an amazing experience and something that I look forward to doing again for a longer time and going deeper,” he wrote.
“Bukit Lawang is a beautiful spot with such kind people.”
Foote, who lives in northern NSW according to his Instagram, posted a series of photos of himself and his friends surfing as well as a picture of Weisse, his girlfriend.
Elliot Foote, Steph Weisse, Will Teagle and Jordan Short were on board a charter boat that went missing in Indonesia. Credit: 7NEWS
A search and rescue operation was launched to find the missing tourists however local authorities said the search had been hampered by ongoing bad weather and the fact that the missing vessel did not have a tracking device.
“Our hearts are aching at the thought that Elliot, Steph, Will and Jordan are missing at sea,” families of the missing Australians said in a joint statement on Monday night.
“We continue to pray and hold out hope they will be found.
“We’d like to thank the Indonesian authorities and the Australian Government for their ongoing assistance while search and rescue efforts continue.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the families of the four Australians on board.
The department is also working with Indonesian authorities to support search and rescue efforts.
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