AMSA Coordinates Search and Rescue North of Ashmore Island

Dennis Bryant
Friday, March 15, 2013

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that it coordinated the rescue of 77 persons from waters north of Ashmore Island after their vessel broke up. The individuals are being transported to Christmas Island.

“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has coordinated the search and rescue of 77 people following after their vessel broke up 60 nautical miles north of Ashmore Island.

At approximately 3 p.m. AEDT on Wednesday, a Customs and Border Protection Dash 8 aircraft was conducting routine patrol in the area when it sighted what appeared to be a broken up vessel with a number of people in the vicinity in the water.

AMSA tasked HMAS Childers to provide assistance, and three aircraft and three merchant vessels were also diverted to the scene to assist.

A short time later, the crew of HMAS Childers reported to have recovered 77 people from the water. AMSA’s Dornier aircraft conducted an aerial search to confirm no other people were in the water.

Following interviews with the survivors, the crew of HMAS Childers is confident to have rescued all the people on board the vessel when it broke up.

The survivors are currently being taken to Christmas Island on board Australian Customs Vessel Ocean Protector.

AMSA did not receive any distress calls from this vessel and at this stage it is not known what may have caused the vessel to break up.

AMSA wishes to thank the crews of the Australian assets and merchant vessels for their swift and professional efforts to rescue the people.”

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