- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
4 dead, 130 rescued after refugee boat capsizes off Aussie isle
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Four people are believed to have died and 130 others were rescued after a crowded boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia capsized and sank Wednesday, less than a week after more than 90 people drowned on a similar journey.
The incident, which occurred midway between Australia‘sChristmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java, has renewed Australian government efforts to deter a growing stream of boat arrivals by legislating to deport them to other Southeast Asian or Pacific countries.
An air-and-sea search for survivors ended late Wednesday when the Australian Maritime Safety Authority determined that no one beyond the 130 rescued had survived the sinking of the wooden Indonesian fishing boat. Only one body had been recovered.
“Based on information from the survivors, including crew members, it is now believed that there were 134 people on board and that three people went down with the vessel,” the authority said in a statement.
Three merchant ships, two Australian warships and an Australian air force plane that can drop life rafts to the sea responded to the capsizing.
The search area was 120 miles north of Christmas Island and 115 miles south of Java. The boat capsized in Indonesia’s search-and-rescue zone, but Australian authorities raised the alarm after the crew made a satellite phone call to Australian police.
The first merchant ship reached the scene more than four hours later, officials said.
Last Thursday, 110 people were rescued when a boat carrying more than 200 mostly Afghan asylum seekers capsized just 15 miles from the location of Wednesday’s incident. Only 17 bodies were recovered.
Australia is a common destination for boats carrying asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka and other poor or war-torn countries.
In December 2010, an estimated 48 people died when an asylum-seeker boat broke up against Christmas Island’s rocky coast.
Last December, about 200 asylum seekers were feared drowned after their overcrowded ship bound for Australia sank off Java.
Other boats are suspected to have sunk unnoticed with the loss of all lives.
Last week’s disaster rekindled debate in Parliament on how Australia should deter asylum seekers from risking the hazardous sea journey. The government wants to send new boat arrivals to Malaysia in exchange for accepting U.N.-recognized refugees living there. The opposition won’t support the legislation because Malaysia has not signed the U.N. Refugee Convention.
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Paul Ryan to meet with black lawmakers after 'inner cities' flap
- Georgia's new carry law a big win for gun rights
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014