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Australian authorities assist vessel [HMAS Parramatta]



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UNCLASSIFIED

THE HON. JASON CLARE MP CABINET SECRETARY MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEDIA RELEASE

21 February 2013

Australian authorities assist vessel

HMAS Parramatta, operating under the coordination of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia), rendered assistance to a suspected irregular entry vessel that sought assistance north of Christmas Island yesterday.

The vessel was initially detected by a RAAF maritime patrol aircraft, also operating under the coordination of RCC Australia. A merchant vessel, ANL Warringa, having responded to RCC Australia’s ships broadcast, assisted in monitoring the vessel overnight Tuesday (19 February) until HMAS Parramatta arrived on scene.

HMAS Parramatta provided assistance to the vessel as it continued to track towards Christmas Island. HMAS Parramatta continued to monitor the vessel and again sought to render assistance and boarded the vessel yesterday.

With concerns about the seaworthiness of the vessel the passengers were embarked onto HMAS Parramatta. Towards the completion of the transfer effort, the vessel capsized. A number of people entered the water. HMAS Parramatta is confident all people were recovered from the water with some minor injuries reported.

Indications are there were 88 passengers and three crew on board.

Border Protection Command will make arrangements to transfer the people to Australian Government authorities on Christmas Island, where they will undergo security, health and identity checks and their reasons for travel will be established.

People arriving by boat without a visa after 13 August 2012 run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country.

Media Adviser: Ryan Hamilton - 0414 599 468

Ryan Hamilton Press Secretary Office of the Hon Jason Clare MP Cabinet Secretary | Minister for Home Affairs | Minister for Justice | Federal Member for Blaxland  (02) 6277 7290- CBR |  (02) 9251 1336- SYD |  0414 599 468 |  ryan.hamilton@ag.gov.au

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