Australian tourist dies while surfing in Lombok, Indonesia

MATARAM, Indonesia (AFP) - An Australian man has died after being hit by a wave while surfing in central Indonesia, police said, while another Australian surfer remains missing near the holiday island of Bali.

Friends on Friday noticed the 54-year-old Australian man floating some 100 metres from the shore of Sorga beach on the island of Lombok, which lies just east of the popular resort island of Bali, local police chief Arif Budiman told AFP.

"He went out Friday morning and only surfed for a few minutes before he was seen floating in the water," Budiman said, adding that the man was believed to have been hit by a wave.

The man, who had been staying on Lombok for three days, was still alive but in a "weak condition" when pulled from the water, and died on the way to a local health centre, Budiman said.

Australian consular officials could not be immediately contacted.

Meanwhile, another Australia tourist, Peter Maynard from the state of Queensland, has been missing since Aug 27. His family, who arrived on the island on Friday to join the search, said that Maynard was last seen going for a surf on Aug 27 off the island of Nusa Lembongan, a short boat ride from Bali.

The incidents follow the death of 27-year-old Australian Peter Luke, who was on Aug 11 swept away by a five-metre wave before he hit a reef on the island of Sumbawa.

Bali and other central Indonesian islands are popular with surfers, particularly from neighbouring Australia, for their famous breaks and uncrowded waves.