Search for missing fishing boat
AMSA Media Release
27 March 2001

Australian Search and Rescue has assumed responsibility for the search for a missing Indonesian fishing boat believed to be about 40 to 50 nautical miles (70 to 90 kms) north of Christmas Island.

An aircraft tasked by the Australian Federal Police on Christmas Island has been unable to locate the boat which is believed to be broken down and adrift with about 20 people on board.

The alarm was raised this morning when a Christmas Island fishing vessel picked up two men from the missing boat on a makeshift raft. The men reported that the boat had broken down about a week ago, provisions were low, but that all on board were safe and in good health.

They left the boat to seek help at about midday (AEST) yesterday.

The local research vessel Southern Champion is also involved in the search and ships in the area have been advised by AusSAR to be on the look out for the missing boat.

A twin-engine aircraft from Christmas Island will continue searching until last light tonight. Weather in the area is reported as fine.

A Customs Coastwatch Dash 8 aircraft due back in Darwin tonight will join the search at first light tomorrow after a six hour overnight flight to Christmas Island.

AusSAR will plan search areas through the night and assess the availability of further search assets.

A spokesman for AuSSAR said the Indonesian search and rescue authority BASARNAS and the Indonesian embassy in Canberra had been advised of the incident.

Further information:
David Gray 0418 487 794
Ben Mitchell 0418 164 901


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