November 24, 2014 | ABC News
An asylum seeker boat has turned up on a small Micronesian island, with those on board reportedly saying they were told they could get to Australia from there.
Sanian Bamngin, the police chief on the island of Yap, said the boat carrying 35 people arrived on Monday.
Mr Bamngin said those onboard were men from India and Nepal as well as two Indonesian crew members.
He said the passengers claimed to have boarded the boat on November 10 in Indonesia in the hope of seeking asylum.
“Some of them are thinking that they’re heading to Australia, and some of them are thinking that they’re heading to New Zealand … and to the US,” he said.
The police chief said the asylum seekers had been staying on the boat and that they would remain onboard until Saturday when national police were due to arrive to assist local authorities.
Phillipe Dor, an Australian citizen and clam farmer living on Yap, said he spoke to the boat’s crew who told him they had been sent by Indonesian “agents” or people smugglers who told them they would get taken to Australia or another country from Yap.
Mr Dor said the boat’s captain told him they had been offered the equivalent of about $1,500 to take the asylum seekers to Yap, guided by a GPS unit.
“It’s a total disaster created by those Indonesian people smugglers,” Mr Dor said.
He said island authorities did not know what to do.
“This is a completely first event for Yap and nobody exactly knows what’s going to happen,” he said.
Mr Dor said he gave bananas to those on board because they did not have any food or water.