March 28, 2013
A BOAT carrying 147 asylum-seekers was intercepted south-west of Darwin on Wednesday, bringing the total for the week to almost 600 and placing further strain on Australia’s detention facilities.
Authorities have either stopped or rescued seven boats since Sunday, including one which capsized on Monday killing two people and injuring seven others.
More than 3000 people have been stopped trying to get to Australia this year alone, more than double the number in the first three months of last year.
It came as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship revealed another 20 people had been transferred to the processing centre on Nauru.
The group of mostly Pakistani and Afghan men left Christmas Island on Tuesday by aircraft and arrived in Nauru about 8am local time on Wednesday.
Customs and Border Protection confirmed it would review the circumstances surrounding the response to Monday’s tragedy in which two people, including a small child, died.
Chief executive officer Michael Pezzullo said such an inquiry was routine after any significant maritime incident.
“In light of the tragic loss of two lives during the incident, it is prudent and entirely appropriate that an assessment of the operation is conducted to determine whether correct operational procedures and processes were followed and to ascertain any potential areas for improvement in those procedures,” Mr Pezzullo said.
As part of the assessment process, Customs and Border Protection will construct a chronology of the incident and ensure all relevant documents and any recordings or imagery are captured.