Monday, August 19, 2013

Rescue launched for asylum-seekers after boat capsizes - The Australian

A boat believed to be carrying more than 100 asylum seekers has capsized north of Christmas Island.

A RESCUE operation is underway for more than 100 asylum-seekers after a boat capsized north of Christmas Island.

Some of those on board had been thrown into the water, sources said.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it received a request for help from the boat this morning.

The boat was about 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island with an estimated 105 people on board.

AMSA issued a broadcast to ships in the area and a navy vessel sailed to the scene.

HMAS Parramatta arrived at 12.20pm (AEST) and reported the vessel had capsized, AMSA said in a statement.

"The navy vessel is now conducting a rescue operation, with support from a Customs Dash-8 aircraft," AMSA said.

Another navy vessel is en route and a merchant vessel is due to arrive shortly.

A P3 Orion surveillance plane will be in the area in the coming hours.

"This is an ongoing search and rescue operation and no further information is available at this stage," AMSA said.

Additional reporting: AAP
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