Stranded tourists rescued after worldwide text message

Ten British tourists trapped on a stricken boat off the coast of Bali have been rescued after more than 24 hours stranded in rough seas.

Ten British tourists trapped on a stricken boat off the coast of Bali have been rescued after more than 24 hours stranded in rough seas.

The alarm was sounded after a British woman on board sent an SOS text message to her boyfriend in London to say the boat was in trouble.

Rescuers had previously managed to get close to the boat but bad weather prevented them pulling the boat to safety.

According to Falmouth Coastguard, which is in touch with the Indonesian authorities, the Britons, an Australian, a New Zealander and six Indonesians have been rescued.

Rebecca Fyfe, 19, sent a text message from the seas off Indonesia to Nick Hodgson at 2am on Wednesday in London saying: "Call Falmouth Coastguard, we need help - SOS."

He telephoned her back as her mobile phone battery was running out and discovered she was stranded in a drifting boat between the island of Bali and Lombok.

Mr Hodgson, 23, an assistant manager of a holiday park, contacted Thames Coastguard which informed colleagues in Falmouth, Cornwall. They spoke to the woman, but she was unable to give precise details of the boat's location.

At 3.30am Falmouth passed the message to their counterparts in Australia and by 10am on Wednesday the Indonesian authorities had been informed. The Indonesians mounted a rescue operation, after the boat had been adrift for more than 12 hours in high seas with a four-metre swell.

On board the stricken boat is a small generator powering three lights, which have managed to signal another vessel seven miles off shore. The boat apparently ran into difficulties as it was travelling between Sangigi and Mataram.

Gordon Whatley, duty watch officer at Falmouth, says Miss Fyfe did the right thing by contacting her boyfriend in England. He said: "Unless she can speak the local language she wouldn't get very far trying to ring the authorities in Indonesia herself," he said. "Contacting her boyfriend is the best thing she could have done."

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