Saturday 28 September 2013
TRAGIC BOAT INCIDENT IN INDONESIA
The Australian government is aware that an asylum seeker vessel has foundered in Indonesian waters close to West Java.
Details of what has occurred are unclear at this time but it is understood Indonesian authorities are coordinating rescue operations.
Australian authorities received a phone call about the vessel yesterday morning. Initial reports placed the vessel 25 nautical miles off the Indonesian coast, inside the Indonesian Search and Rescue Region.
RCC Australia maintained co-ordination of the search and rescue operation and notified the Indonesian search and rescue agency BASARNAS.
RCC Australia issued an all-ships broadcast. A merchant vessel responded but was unable to locate the vessel.
A Border Protection Command aircraft, operating in support of RCC Australia, joined the search but was also unable to locate the vessel.
Australian government officials in Jakarta are seeking additional information from their Indonesian counterparts, including seeking to confirm where the vessel foundered. It is believed to have gone down in Indonesian territory.
Any loss of life is tragic and this latest incident again reflects the dangers of people smuggling.
The Australian Government expresses its deepest sympathies to those affected by this tragedy for their loss and will continue to provide any assistance required by the Indonesian Government.
Further information: Julian Leembruggen 0419 494 667
Office of The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Canberra: +61 2 6277 7860
Mob: +61 419 494 667