130 rescued from boat of asylum seekers headed to Australia
After a boat trying to reach Australia capsized, 130 survivors, most of them women and children, were rescued near Indonesia. It's the second boat of asylum seekers to capsize in a week.
Four people are believed to have died and 130 others were rescued after a crowded boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia capsized and sank Wednesday, less than a week after more than 90 people drowned on a similar journey.
The incident, which occurred midway between Australia's Christmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java, has renewed Australian government efforts to deter a growing stream of boat arrivals by legislating to deport them to other Southeast Asian or Pacific countries.
An air and sea search for survivors ended late Wednesday when the Australian Maritime Safety Authority determined that no one beyond the 130 rescued had survived the sinking of the wooden Indonesian fishing boat. Only one body had been recovered.
"Based on information from the survivors, including crew members, it is now believed that there were 134 people on board and that three people went down with the vessel," the authority said in a statement.
Three merchant ships, two Australian warships and an Australian air force plane that can drop life rafts to the sea responded to the capsizing.