11 Jul 2012

More boat people transferred to Christmas Island

5:23 pm on 11 July 2012

About 80 asylum seekers on a boat that made a distress call en route to Australia, have been transferred to a Navy ship and will be taken to Christmas Island.

The boat's crew called the Australian Maritime Safety Authority at 10am on Tuesday to request help, when roughly 40 nautical miles from the Indonesian coast.

Australian and Indonesian authorities launched a rescue operation but border protection officials found the boat showing no visible signs of distress.

In a statement, the AMSA said there were 81 people on board who were transferred to HMAS Childers.

Customs and Border Protection later intercepted another asylum seeker boat north-west of Christmas Island.

The ABC reports seven people were aboard, who will be transferred to the island for health and security checks.

Two other boats were intercepted last week: one on Sunday with 28 people on board and another on Friday with 40 people aboard, which was intercepted north-east of the Ashmore Islands.