Thursday, August 13, 2009
A boat believed to be carrying 77 suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted off Christmas Island. Navy patrol boat HMAS Pirie, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the vessel about 2am on Thursday (AEST), about 21 nautical miles north of Christmas Island.
HMAS Pirie (ACPB 87)The vessel was initially sighted by an RAAF AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. "Initial indications suggest around 77 passengers are on board the vessel," Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said in a statement.