1 dead, 88 rescued in Australia refugee vessel sinking

By Accidents

Jason Clare, Interior Affairs Minister of Australia stated that the vessel first issued a distress signal in rough seas north of Christmas Island, between Australia and Indonesia, on Friday morning, July 12.

Rescue team wasn't able to reach the scene until 12.00 UTC, and a  shortly after that Jason Clare told a huge wave broke over the vessel and it started to sink.

“Last night our officers have fortunately saved 88 human lives and they have recovered the  body of a little baby boy,” Jason Clare added to reporters, saying also that the infant was reportedly less than 1 year old.

“The advice to me is that there were totally 97 people onboard and a search and rescue effort is happening right now.”

One merchant ship and 2 navy patrol vessels were combing their efforts in the seas 87 n.m. north of Christmas Island, along with a military aircraft and 2 maritime rescue airplanes.

The ill-fated vessel was said to have originated in Indonesia with travelers onboard from Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, Jason Clare told.

Minister Clare also added that the 88 plucked from the sea overnight had been transported to immigration detention on the remote island, Australia’s main facility for holding asylum-seekers arriving by vessel.

This is the 2nd asylum vessel accident on the dangerous people-smuggling sea  passage from Java in a week — a ship issued a distress call last Friday after taking on water but was ultimately able to fix its engine.