More than 100 asylum seekers were rescued from an Indonesian fishing boat that partially sank in the Indian Ocean, about 220 kilometres from Australia’s Christmas Island, officials said Tuesday.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said 106 people had been rescued but five people were believed missing.
“After an extensive search of the area for further survivors or bodies, none have been sighted (and) it is therefore believed any people unaccounted for have gone down with part of the vessel,” the authority said.
The survivors were aboard HMAS Parramatta en route to the immigration detention centre on Christmas Island.
More than 15,000 immigrants have arrived by boat this year, one-third of them Iranian. They head for Christmas Island, 360 kilometres from the coast of Indonesia’s Java island.
Over 300 have arrived in the past two days.