Incident in Indonesia
Statement to the House of Representatives, Canberra
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Border Protection Command received information from Post in Jakarta that at approximately 11.30 AEDST on December 9, 30 people had been rescued from a sunken vessel at Cibalong Garut, in Indonesian waters, approximately 75nm west of Cilacap, West Java.
I am advised that no request was or has been made for Australian assistance either by the passengers on board the vessel or Indonesian authorities involved in coordinating the rescue.
Australian government officials in Jakarta are seeking additional information.
There have been reports of three deceased persons, however this has not yet been confirmed through our post.
Our post has advised of two deaths and several persons being in a critical condition.
We are seeking further updates.
This further loss of life is as tragic as all those that preceded it in similar circumstances and we extend sympathies to the families of those affected. It is especially tragic as these deaths were needless and avoidable.
This latest incident highlights once again the fatal consequences of people smuggling, particularly in this most dangerous time of the year.
People should not believe the people smugglers' lies. Of course Australia will meet our obligations regarding safety of life at sea, but this does not mean there is a safety net for your voyage. You should assume the worst, as was sadly the case for those who lost their lives yesterday.
These lives are no less precious than our own and that is why the Government, through Operation Sovereign Borders, will continue to deploy all means at our disposal, to deter, disrupt and prevent wherever possible people getting on these boats.
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