Navy rescues asylum seekers

Last updated 12:50 10/09/2012

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Australia

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Two Australian navy patrol boats have  rescued 80 asylum seekers from a boat that was in distress off the coast of Java.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received information early on Sunday morning that the boat was in trouble.

Australia coordinated the rescue with assistance from Indonesia’s search and rescue agency BASARNAS.

An AMSA spokesman said a merchant vessel was first on the scene and two Australia Defence boats arrived on Sunday afternoon.

Two injured asylum seekers were transferred to the merchant ship for immediate medical evacuation to Indonesia.

The remaining 80 people were put on the navy patrol boats to be taken to Christmas Island.

AMSA said it was unable to confirm media reports of a second incident involving BASARNAS.

The ABC said Indonesian authorities rescued 54 asylum seekers, including women and a baby girl, from a sinking boat near Sulawesi overnight.

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- AAP

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