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Survivor of makeshift raft found on Christmas Island

Thursday 31 January 2013
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has suspended the air and sea search near Christmas Island after an Indonesian man, who was part of a group of four men missing in the area, was found on Lily Beach on the east coast of Christmas Island.
Media Release

The four men reportedly left a disabled vessel on 24 January 2013 on a raft made of inner tubes and bamboo bound with rope.

The person found on Lily Beach was later identified as a crew member of the disabled vessel. The survivor claimed the raft had broken up on the first night at sea due to poor weather and he became separated from the other men. He managed to locate a piece of driftwood and, using it for flotation, continued to swim/drift towards Christmas Island coming ashore about 2 days later.

The survivor claimed he had been lost on Christmas Island until his discovery today. A coastal foreshore search utilising HMAS Bathurst and a small craft provided by Christmas Island police was completed without locating further survivors.

A land search operation, directed by Australian Federal Police, was completed of the island coastline including all possible areas where survivors may have come ashore.

This search did not locate any signs that further survivors had made it ashore.

Following confirmation by the survivor that the men were no longer on the raft, AMSA suspended the air and sea search noting medical advice that the persons could not have survived at sea without support from the raft.

The survivor has received medical attention and is reported to be in good health.