Australian sailor missing in Flores Sea
An Australian sailor, identified as John Rice is reported missing in the waters off Flores in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) after his boat foundered in heavy seas on Wednesday. Meanwhile, his Canadian crewmate, Guillaume Gosselin, has been rescued by local fishermen.
Previously NTT Water Police had believed that Rice and Gosselin’s stricken vessel was a participant in the 2012 Sail Morotai international rally because it happened to pass through the rally’s route.
“We are clarifying our previous statement. They were not rally participants. They are simply tourists,” Comr. Bayu Herlambang of the NTT Water Police said on Friday.
The two sailors left Darwin, Australia, on July 14 with the intention of visiting several Indonesian tourism spots such as the Komodo National Park on Komodo Island in NTT. They arrived in Kupang, NTT on July 17, and headed to East Flores on July 21 through the Flores Sea.
“On Wednesday evening, high waves hit their boat causing it to sink,” Herlambang said.
Gosselin was picked up by local fishermen, floating in the waters off Sikka, NTT, on Thursday morning.
“We are still looking for Rice,” he said. (riz)