Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

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)