Four teens who vanished paddle boarding found alive on island 20km away
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Four teenagers who went missing off the coast of Victoria, Australia while paddle boarding have been found alive on an island more than 20km away.
The two 18-year-old men and 18- and 19-year-old women set out on inflatable paddle boards on Monday (19 December) from Rosebud Beach off Point Nepean Rd on the Mornington Peninsula.
The are thought to have been celebrating the end of the school year, but concerns about their whereabouts began when a member of the public found items belonging to the teens on the beach at about 8pm local time.
The discovery prompted a large-scale search for the group, with Police Air Wing, ambulance helicopters, water police, local rescue boats and family members of the four teens all joining to try and track down the paddle boarders.
Authorities were forced to pause the operations at 4am on Tuesday morning, but they were able to pick things up again at 6am.
Acting Inspector Ian Pregnor described the parents of the teens as being 'quite distraught' while their children remained missing, but this morning the group was discovered alive on Swan Island, off the coast of Queenscliffe.
The island is located approximately 80km (49 miles) from Melbourne and more than 20km (12 miles) from the group's starting point at Rosebud Beach.
It is home to a military training facility run by the Department of Defence, and it was during a routine security patrol that the group were discovered.
Pregnor described how the four teens, from Glen Waverly, had clung to two paddle boards before reaching the island.
“They were very cold and very relieved to lay on dry land,” he said.
Two of the teenagers were airlifted to the hospital after being discovered, while the other two were taken by ambulance.
All four members of the group have been confirmed to be in stable condition and did not sustain any serious injuries during their ordeal.
Pregnor commented: "I think you can see the smile on my face, it’s absolutely sensational that they’ve been found safe overnight and search as well.”
Jack Shi, the father of one of the teens, told radio station 3AW he was 'relieved' that his child had been found safe and sound.
Chris Vasilevski, the Director of Gone Fishing Charters, explained the wind in the area kicked up to about 25knots - or around 46km/hour - on Monday night while the teens were missing.
"The east wind for around that area is probably one of the worst because there is no protection at all," he explained.
Pregnor described the discovery of the teens as a 'Christmas miracle'.