Four teenagers spent the night crammed onto two paddle boards while lost at sea as they were swept away by strong currents to a small island 20 kilometres away from their departure point.
The two male and two female teenagers, aged from 18 to 19, were using two inflatable paddle boards off Rosebud Beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula on Monday afternoon, when they became caught in strong tides.
Their belongings, including mobile phones and a car, were found abandoned on the beach by a passerby at about 8 pm and the group was declared missing shortly after.
A major search operation was launched for the group, who had travelled to Rosebud to celebrate finishing their final school exams.
Victoria Police confirmed all four had been found on Swan Island on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay soon after 9am on Tuesday.
Swan Island off Queenscliff is controlled by the Department of Defence and the group was found by a routine security patrol.
Two of the teenagers were airlifted to the hospital, while the other two were taken by ambulance. All four are stable and have not sustained any serious injuries.
Footage showed one woman wrapped in a blanket as she was escorted into an ambulance.
Victoria Police Acting Superintendent Terence Rowlands said the group were found by security staff who were on a ‘routine walk’ around the island.
‘They (the teens) were very cold and very relieved to be on dry land,’ he told reporters.
‘Luck has a lot to do with it.’