Boat in distress found near Bali

July 26, 2012

Indonesian authorities have sent a naval vessel to pick up a group of asylum seekers that had been adrift for three days after their boat broke down while on its way to Australia.

The boat, packed with about 60 Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers, landed on a small island near Bali on Thursday after issuing a distress call on Wednesday night.

It had been drifting between East Java and Bali for three days and had started leaking, before a crew member contacted Australian authorities despite the vessel being well inside Indonesian waters.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority in turn alerted the Indonesian search and rescue agency BASARNAS.

Sutrisno, the chief of the East Java search and rescue agency, said the group would be taken to Surabaya in East Java on Friday and handed over to immigration authorities.



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