Asylum-seeker boat carrying 105 sinking off Australia, rescue operation underway
SYDNEY (AFP) - A rescue operation was under way Tuesday after an asylum-seeker boat carrying 105 people began sinking north of Australia, two weeks away from an election where boatpeople are a key policy issue.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said they received a request for assistance from someone onboard Tuesday morning and a navy ship responded.
“The vessel was 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island with reportedly 105 people on board,” an AMSA spokeswoman said, referring to the Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
She added that an alert was issued to ships in the area.
“HMAS Parramatta arrived on scene at around 12.20 pm (10.30am Singapore time) and reported the vessel had foundered.”