Discuss as:

8 divers rescued by fluke of Bali fishing boat skipper

Eight European tourists who disappeared while diving off Bali are safe because a fishing boat skipper was trying a new route home, according to media reports.

The English and French tourists were reported missing Thursday evening in the waters of Nusa Lembongan in Klungkung regency of Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reported Saturday. They spent six hours adrift in the water. They were part of a group of 12 who rented a boat from Dive Concepts at Sanur beach, about 10 miles west, near Denpasar.

They had started diving about 4:30 p.m. but four returned to the boat because of high waves, the Post reported.

“The other eight people didn’t come up,” Ketut Gede Ardana, head of Denpasar’s Search and Rescue operations, told the Post.

Dive Concepts reported the eight missing to authorities about 7 p.m., the Post said.

“After we received the report, we searched Padang Bai waters, but didn’t find them, so we decided to continue searching the next day, but then we received another report saying they had been rescued by a fishing boat,” Senior Commander Tubuh Musyareh, Bali Water Police director, told the Post.

Bing maps

Area where divers went missing and were rescued off Bali, Indonesia

The fishing boat, KM Sumber Laut 01, is owned and operated by Benoa-based PT Intimas fishing company, the Post said. The ship’s crew spotted the divers at 10:40 p.m., 11 miles to the south of where they had been diving.

Sismono, captain of the fishing boat, said the crew found the divers coincidently.

“I was going back to Benoa harbor from Flores (about 100 miles east), usually I don’t take that route,” he said.

Watch World News videos on msnbc.com

He said he and the boat’s crew had seen a light in the middle of the sea. As they approached the light, they noticed some people in diving suits waving their hands.

“We grabbed our life jackets and pulled them into the boat,” he said, adding that the waves were high that night, reaching up to 3 meters.

Due to language limitations and shock after 6 hours adrift, the divers could not communicate with the crew, who gave them water and instant noodles, the Post reported.

The divers arrived at Benoa harbor at 4 a.m. on Friday, Ardana told the Post. They were returned to their hotel in Tulamben, north Bali, about 70 miles from Benoa.

More world news from msnbc.com and NBC News:

Follow World News on msnbc.com on Twitter and Facebook