THE PM'S TASK FORCE MINUTES
(Extracted from Margo Kingston's Web Diary 16 June 2002
NB: All text within square brackets added by Kingston)
Scanned copies of the original documents are also online
Further Prospective arrivals
Intelligence re 2 boats with total 600 PUAs [possible unauthorised arrivals] expected at Christmas [Island], with one possibly arriving today ... Some risk of vessels in poor condition and rescue at sea. No confirmed sightings by Coastwatch, but multisource information with high confidence level.
Status report to be prepared for PM on above issues
Friday, October 19
Current state of play
Coastwatch advised 2000 still linked to boats, next boat to CI [Christmas Island] could be 250
New vessel 60+ N miles NE of CI carrying 100+. Likely to reach contiguous zone in 8-10 hours. [HMAS] Arunta boarding in 1.5 hours and [HMAS] Warramunga may be asked to attempt return, but 2.5 days to get back to CI.
Status report to be prepared for PM.
Saturday, October 20
Second boat expected at Christmas tomorrow. If arrives, assessment to be made whether possible to return [the] larger vessel. Arunta to relieve possible overcrowding ... Need to consider how to handle 2 boats - simultaneous or sequential returns - noting return will take 48 hours at 4 knots?
Sunday, October 21
Check Defence P3 is maintaining surveillance over Christmas Island.
Monday, October 22
Not spotted yet, missing, grossly overloaded, no jetsam spotted, no reports from relatives.
Tuesday, October 23
Detailed report from 19 yo Afghani male survivor - reports sunk vessel departed 0130 hours 18/10 with 421 on board, including 70 children. Stopped near Karakatu group of Islands at 0900 where 24 left vessel. 397 still on board. At 1400 on 19/10 vessel was taking water out of sight of land. Sank very quickly but resurfaced. About 120 people on surface. 7000 litres of fuel escaped? Seas rough. Only 70 ifejackets - none worked. 19-20 hours in water from 1500 on Friday 19/10 till rescued by 2 fishing vessels around 1100 on Saturday, 20/10. One fishing vessel rescued 44 people; another rescued 5 - 4 deceased and 1 survivor. 41 adults and 3 children survived, 352 drowned. Survivors taken to Jakarta - being cared for by IOM [International Organisation for Migration] at Bogor outside Jakarta. Vessel likely to have been in international waters south of Java. [Margo: Task force member Katrina Edwards says this report was from the AFP.]
Wednesday, November 1
Post [Australia's Jakarta office] advises that Quassy [the people smuggler who organised the SIEV-X voyage] is likely to only be charged with immigration offences in relation to drownings as he was not in charge of the vessel.