July 25, 2013
A search and rescue operation is continuing as the death toll rises to five in the latest asylum seeker boat tragedy off Indonesia.
A local fisherman came to the rescue yesterday afternoon after an asylum seeker boat sank off Cidaun, on the south-west Java coast.
It had left a fishing village earlier in the day but only got a few kilometres out to sea before hitting strong easterly winds.
Indonesian police now say they have found about 181 survivors, however, the death toll has also climbed to five.
One small girl and four adults are now confirmed to have died.
Search and rescue authorities are still scouring the seas off Java in the hope of finding more survivors and immigration officials say it appears those onboard were mainly from Sri Lanka and Iran.
The sick and wounded are being taken away for medical treatment, but the other passengers are being held near the coast.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says it offered assistance in the search and rescue but it was declined.