An Australian surfer who spent nearly two days in Indonesian waters after a boat capsized has spoken out about the loss of his guide.

Elliot Foote was left stranded in waters off Indonesia’s Sumatra island alongside his girlfriend Steph Weisse and friends Will Teagle and Jordan Short after their wooden longboat ran into rough conditions on Sunday night.

All four of the missing Australians and two of the Indonesian boat crew were found 36 hours after they capsized. They were floating on surfboards in open water when rescuers arrived.

Meanwhile one of their guides has not been found.

“My deepest thoughts are with the family of Fifan. Our joyful young guide who hasn’t been found,” he said on social media on Thursday.

“I wish there was more we could have done to help you, and that will stay with me as a burden to bear.”

“I understand the loneliness you must’ve felt in those hours by yourself, and my condolences to your family.”

The incredible moment that three of the Australians and two of the crewmen were found floating on surfboards was captured on camera, with the group cheering as their rescuers came closer to the group.

Not seen in the footage was Mr Foote who had swum off to paddle to land and was found 5km away from the group hours later.

The desperate search began when their boat that was travelling from the remote Banyak Island did not reach its final destination at Pinang Island.

The four surfers and their crew had chosen to push on through the rough weather on Sunday night while a group of eight of their friends took shelter on Saran Alu.

Mr Foote went on to say the experience was “something that I cannot comprehend”.

“My emotions are incredibly mixed; elation, guilt, complete adrenaline, anxiety, pure joy and happiness,” he said.

“From the moment the boat went under until the time we were reunited on Pinang Island, uncertainty was the only certainty.

“I didn’t know if my 8 friends had made it to the Island on the Sunday night before us, if my girlfriend Steph, Will and Jordan had been found and rescued before me or if I needed to get out there and find them.”

He also took time to thank those who supported the frantic search.

“To all my friends, family and the greater global community who have reached out. To show love, check in on my wellbeing and get some idea of what happened. Thank you, it means so much to me,” he said.


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By Rahul

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