No survivors found after boat filled with migrants sinks off Australia

June 9, 2013 at 7:58 AM   |   Comments

SYDNEY, June 9 (UPI) -- Australian authorities have found no survivors in a search for a boat carrying 55 asylum seekers that capsized near Christmas Island, officials said.

The boat was first spotted by authorities Wednesday, about 80 nautical miles west of Christmas Island, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday.

Of the 55 asylum seekers believed aboard the boat, most were men, officials said.

Four planes and two merchant ships have been used in the rescue effort.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said about 13 bodies had not yet been recovered.

"This is another terrible tragedy. Another terrible reminder how dangerous these journeys are," Clare said. "This is a search and rescue trying to find people alive today and that's where my focus [is]."

"We want to stop people getting here on boats," he said. "At the completion of this search, this will be [the] subject of a full review, as is standard practice. The focus today is on finding people alive."

Meanwhile, another boat full of asylum seekers ran into trouble west of Cocos Island several days ago, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said. A British merchant vessel picked up 78 refugees and brought them to Christmas Island.

Two other boats carrying almost 200 asylum seekers have been intercepted since Friday, the broadcaster said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Source: Ferguson cop beaten before shooting
Brady Morton's body discovered three days after Port Huron Float Down
Boko Haram overruns Nigerian police academy
Amanda Curtis launches Montana Senate campaign after Walsh bows out
Granite head of Lenin stays unexcavated, Berlin senate says
Trending News