November 17, 2012
A MALE asylum seeker has been found dead on an asylum boat which was intercepted north east of Christmas Island yesterday.
Australian Federal Police are investigating the death of the man but it is understood he likely died of natural causes.
Passengers on the boat had called Australian authorities reporting a man on board was unwell.
When HMAS Launceston crew boarded the vessel, the gravely ill man was unconscious.
The Launceston crew attempted to revive the man but were unsuccessful.
The vessel had 59 asylum seekers and two crew on board.
“Just prior to boarding, a number of reports were received of a person with a medical condition on board,” a statement from Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare’s office said.
“Upon boarding the vessel, the boarding party located a male passenger who appeared to be deceased and attempted to revive him without success.
“The deceased passenger has been transferred to the custody of Australian Federal Police on Christmas Island.
“Border Protection Command has also transferred the remaining passengers to Christmas Island, where they will undergo initial security, health and identity checks and their reasons for travel will be established.”
A Customs Dash 8 surveillance plane first spotted the vessel.