3rd Time’s the Charm, Australian Navy Responds to Asylum Seekers in Distress

amsa australian maritime safety incident indonesia christmas island

hmas wollongong
HMAS Wollongong

While transiting from Singapore to Christmas Island, HMAS Wollongong was tasked to respond to a vessel in distress which was eventually located approximately 52 nautical miles southwest of Tanjung (Cape) Layar, West Java. The Australian warship remains in close proximity to the vessel this morning and is continuing to monitor it closely. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority reports the vessel is slowly traveling south towards Christmas Island under its own power.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the distress call was received at 4.30am today when the boat 50 nautical miles south of Indonesia.

”The boat has rung, said it’s in distress, that it’s taking on water,” Mr Clare told ABC Radio. ”Whenever you have a call like that, you take it seriously.”

Though there are no obvious visual signs that the vessel is in imminent danger, a full on-board assessment has not been made due to poor weather conditions in the area.

HMAS Leeuwin remains en route to the area in order to provide further support and is due to arrive this evening.