After spending the night drifting in the cold waters of southwestern Australia, four teenagers were found alive on an island.
The Victoria Police said on social media that the four teens “set out on two stand-up paddle boards” from Rosebud beach on Monday evening.
The group — which included two 18-year-old males, an 18-year-old female and a 19-year-old female — were celebrating the end of their high school studies, secondo 7 Notizia. Despite not being strong swimmers, the teens set off on the inflatable boards without life jackets and left their cell phones at the beach, reported local newspaper The Age.
And after “getting caught in strong winds,” they spent the night drifting in the “cold choppy” waters of Port Phillip Bay, la polizia ha detto.
CNN reported they ended up drifting for 30 kilometers (di 19 miles).
fortunatamente, after hours of floating with the tide, the teens ended up on Swan Island, a military training base located on the opposite side of the bay, in giro 2 sono. the following morning.
“Cold and disorientated, the four found shelter in a hut,” la polizia ha detto.
Later that morning they were located by a security member who was taking their regular walk along the beach, segnalato 7 Notizia.
In una conferenza stampa, police said the teens were “very lucky,” secondo The Age.
“All too often, members of the Victoria Police in these circumstances see tragedy,” remarked Acting Superintendent Terence Rowlands. “It’s an absolutely sensational, fantastic outcome for the family.”
After their rescue, the teens were taken to a local hospital in stable condition and have since been discharged, segnalato 7 Notizia.
Speaking with reporters, one family member called their rescue a “huge relief,” secondo la CNN.
“Our kids have (been) found and we are very very happy about that,” said dad Jack Shi.
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During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the teens who got swept out to sea said their rescue “still feels like a dream.”
“I mean like if you look back, it’s really some miracle,” ha detto all'outlet. “We were trying to get help because we knew that we couldn’t get back, so we just started calling passing boats — but no one noticed us.”
Although in the words of one officer, the teens’ story was a “Christmas-time miracle,” local officials are urging people to take caution when in the water, secondo The Age.
“We urge paddlers to always wear a lifejacket and to tie themselves to the board with a leg leash in case they fall off,” STV maritime safety director Cameron Toy told the newspaper.
The Victoria Police are also reminding beachgoers to stay updated on weather and water conditions and to make sure loved ones know your plans — including where you’re headed to and when you’ll be returning.