Indonesia fails to follow Coalition asylum-seeker script

Peter Alford
The Australian
September 27, 2013 2:48PM

INDONESIA has confirmed an Australian navy rescue of asylum-seekers which Australian officials, operating under the Coalition's day-to-day information blackout, refused to acknowledge.

Forty four Pakistani asylum-seekers, including four children, and two crew were brought to Indah Kiat port at Banten in Java at about 8am today, according to Indonesian police and rescue officers.

They were rescued yesterday by HMAS Ballarat near the southern mouth of the Sunda Strait after the engine on their fishing boat failed and it began taking water.

Ballarat was met late last night by an Indonesian coast guard vessel in the strait, southwest of Indah Kiat and close to Indonesia's 12 nautical mile territorial boundary.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority was originally alerted the boat was in possible danger early yesterday and informed Basarnas, the Indonesian search and rescue authority.

However, following permission from the Indonesians, Ballarat was sent to find the vessel and rescue those on board.

Inquiries by The Australian yesterday were passed by AMSA to Customs to the office of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, which did not respond.

Some details of the incident are expected to be released on Monday when the weekly briefing instituted by Mr Morrison, in place of announcements of incidents and boat arrivals as they happen, will be held.

A request for information or confirmation from Mr Morrison's office today remained unanswered at 2pm (AEST).


Back to