Search for asylum boat survivors called off

June 09, 2013

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has called off the search for survivors from a sunken asylum seeker boat north-west of Christmas Island.

No survivors from the boat have been found despite a large air and sea search coordinated by AMSA, involving up to three vessels and five aircraft over three days.

Rescuers spent Sunday scouring an area roughly 60 nautical miles west of the Island for the vessel which was seen submerged on Friday.

Thirteen bodies and debris have been seen floating in the water but no boat or survivors have been found.

The boat, first spotted by authorities on Wednesday, is thought to have had about 55 people on board.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says the 13 bodies are yet to be recovered.

He says it is believed it was mostly adult men on board but there were also a small number of women and children.

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