Two fishing boats were destroyed last week by Tropical Cyclone Ilsa, one of the strongest storms to hit Western Australia in more than a decade, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.
The first group of 11 men swam ashore on remote Bedwell Island, a stretch of sand about 300 kilometers west of Broome on Australia’s northwest coast.
The area is known for deep sea fishing, writes CNN.
The desperate men survived without food and water for almost a week before they were spotted by an Australian Border Force (ABF) aircraft during a planned surveillance mission, AMSA said, prompting the dispatch of a rescue helicopter .
The second vessel, believed to be carrying at least 10 other people, sank in the heavy storm, AMSA said.
One survivor spent 30 hours in the water before reaching Bedwell Island. The other nine fishermen are believed to have died, AMSA said.
CNN affiliate Nine News Australia reported that the survivors were taken to Broome Hospital for treatment.
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