Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Between darkness and fear: bombs rain down in Aleppo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shimon Peres: From Hawk to Dove

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Shimon Peres, 'a man of many faces'

Read more

THE DEBATE

The Legacy of Shimon Peres: The last of Israel's founding generation (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

The Legacy of Shimon Peres: What's left of the Oslo Accords? (part 2)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ex-CIA director 'very worried' by prospect of Trump presidency

Read more

FACE-OFF

Migrant crisis: A political football in France?

Read more

FOCUS

Will France repatriate its collection of 19th century Algerian skulls?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Dancer', 'Aquarius' and 'Dogs'

Read more

Asia-pacific

Dozens feared dead after boat sinks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-02

Officials in Australia say they have 'grave concerns' for dozens of people aboard a boat that sank in the Indian Ocean off the country's western coast.

AFP - Fifteen people have been rescued after a boat carrying about 40 people sank off Western Australia, an official told AFP on Monday, adding there were "grave concerns" for the others.

A merchant ship and Taiwanese fishing vessel are searching for more survivors in rough, pre-dawn seas after the boat got into trouble about 700 nautical miles northwest of the Cocos Islands.

"We obviously have grave concerns about the safety of those who are still in the water, given they've been in there for some time now," a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

"The LNG Pioneer (merchant ship) is still conducting search and rescue now," she added. "It's throwing out its life-raft in the hope of recovering more people from the water."

Authorities have not confirmed whether the sunken boat was one of dozens of people-smuggling vessels which have headed to Australia this year carrying asylum-seekers, many of them from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The boat got into trouble overnight on Sunday, prompting a plea for help by Australian authorities which was answered by the LNG tanker and Taiwanese fishing craft.

"We received a distress call from the vessel yesterday morning when they indicated they were taking on water," the maritime safety spokeswoman said.

"We then issued a broadcast to shipping and that's how the two vessels that are there arrived on the scene."

Date created : 2009-11-02

COMMENT(S)