Australian rescuers on the look out
Australian rescuers are searching for about 90 asylum seekers missing in Indonesian waters after their boat sank.
“The objective is to save as many lives as possible,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a press conference.
Of the 200 all-male passengers on board, three bodies have been found and 110 people rescued and taken to Christmas Island off Australia, he added.
Navy boats, aircraft and merchant vessels are assisting with rescue efforts, Clare said. The boat was about 110 nautical miles northwest of Christmas Island when it capsized, he said.
“We do face considerable loss of life at sea, “AustralianPrime Minister Julia Gillard said. “It is still possible for people to have survived and still be in the water.”
Not the first accident
Boats usually head for Christmas Island, which lies about 2,600 kilometers (1,616 miles) northwest of Perth, the capital of Western Australia State.
On Dec. 17, an overloaded vessel carrying asylum seekers to Australia sank in stormy weather off East Java province, killing at least 38 people. Less than a week later, at least 10 people died when a vessel sank near the Maluku islands east of Java.