October 13, 2012
A SUSPECTED asylum seeker boat has been intercepted off Christmas Island with 53 people aboard.
A suspected asylum seeker boat with 53 people aboard has been spotted off Christmas Island. AAP
HMAS Wollongong intercepted the vessel north-northeast of Christmas Island overnight, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement on Friday.
Fifty-three people are believed to be aboard. They will be transferred to the island for health and security checks.
Earlier on Friday, the minister said in another statement AVC Hervey Bay had intercepted two boats carrying 13 people off the Cocos (Keeling) Islands overnight.
There were seven people aboard one vessel and six on the other.
They have been transferred to the Cocos Islands for basic health and security checks before they are sent to Christmas Island.
Mr Clare said people arriving by boat without a visa after August 13 ran the risk of being transferred to a regional processing centre.