Asylum seekers drown on way to Australia

Last updated 10:18 30/01/2013

Relevant offers

World

Sweden mocks US President Donald Trump over his false claim about attack Senior Trump appointee fired after criticising US President's policies, advisers Republican quits after claiming equal pay for women is bad for men, families, society Small cafe shoots to fame after Michelin star mix-up Kim Jong Nam murder: Four North Koreans fled Malaysia on same day, say police Woman killed as erratic car swerves across Australian highway US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis disagrees with Donald Trump that media is 'enemy' British lawmakers to debate Donald Trump's state visit to meet Queen after petition At least 39 dead in Somalia market bombing Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe refuses to retire and wants to pinch Donald Trump's policy

At least two Sri Lankan asylum seekers have died and a third is missing after their boat smashed into rocks off the coast of Central Java as they made their way to Australia.

Twenty survivors, including a four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were taken last night to the island of Nusa Kambangan near the coastal town of Cilacap.

Another two survivors had been taken to a hospital in Cilacap for treatment.

The group is believed to have left Sri Lanka for Australia about two months ago, and was about to begin the final leg of their voyage to Christmas Island when the boat's engine broke down on Monday.

The vessel drifted for hours before it foundered on rocks at Nusa Kambangan.

The island, known as the Alcatraz of Indonesia, is home to maximum security prisons and was where some of the 2002 Bali bombers were incarcerated and later executed.

Local fisherman spotted the asylum seekers at about 7pm local time on Monday night.

The head of the Cilacap immigration office, Syamsul Bahri, said the vessel had originated from Sri Lanka and was transiting through Indonesian waters on the way to Christmas Island.

"They're saying that they're ... heading to Australia," he said.

He said the survivors would be moved to an immigration detention centre in Semarang.

Hundreds of asylum seekers perished last year attempting to make the crossing from Indonesian waters to Christmas Island.

Ad Feedback

- Sydney Morning Herald

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content