17 Jun 2013

Female asylum seeker dies at sea

6:58 am on 17 June 2013

A female asylum seeker was found dead on a boat carrying 60 asylum seekers when it was intercepted near Christmas Island on Sunday morning.

It is not yet known how the woman died or whether foul play is suspected.

Customs and Department of Immigration spokesmen could not confirm where the boat was coming from, or the woman's nationality.

Her husband and son, aged three, were brought ashore to the detention centre at Christmas Island.

AAP reports the weather was so bad that the remaining passengers were held on board until conditions improved. A Customs spokesman said they had since been brought ashore.

Australian Federal Police are preparing a report for the coroner.