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Katherine and Alice Ostojic safe after Indonesian tourist boat sinks

Katherine and Alice Ostojic Image copyright Foreign Office / PA
Image caption Katherine and Alice Ostojic swam for eight hours to safety

A mother whose two daughters swam for eight hours to safety when their boat sank in rough seas in Indonesia has spoken of their ordeal.

Joan Ostojic's daughters Katherine, 21, and Alice, 19, were on a boat carrying 25 people that went down between Lombok and the Komodo Islands on Saturday.

They sat on the semi-submerged vessel's roof for 10 hours before embarking on their swim, their mother said.

Mrs Ostojic, from Stevenage, said: "It's a relief that they are safe."

Hit reef

She added: "They are fine, carrying on with their travels, and will be home shortly."

Travellers from New Zealand, Spain, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands were among those rescued after the boat hit a reef near Sangeang Api, a volcanic island off Sumbawa, in bad weather during the three-day journey.

Mrs Ostojic said the girls sent an email to her and her husband Peter saying they had heard everyone had been found.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A group of survivors rests at a house near the Indonesian town of Bima following the sinking on Saturday

They also revealed that after the boat sank in the middle of the night, they swam for eight hours to the shore before seeing the lights of some fishermen and being rescued, their mother said.

The Foreign Office said Alice Ostojic had been been travelling through Australia and south-east Asia as part of her gap year.

Katherine, who is at Bristol University studying aerospace engineering, had joined her for a month in Indonesia.

After being rescued, the girls spent the night on the nearby uninhabited volcanic island, where they were given food and water by fishermen, before they were taken to Bima in Sumbawa.

The girls lost everything in the accident apart from their passports, debit cards and cash.

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