Two asylum seekers drowned when the Indonesia
fishing boat they were on sank 26 kilometres north-west of
Australia's Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island, officials
There were 95 passengers aboard the boat, which was being shadowed by an Australian Customs and Border Protection ship when it went down.
Christmas Island Administrator John Stanhope said everyone alive was picked up and ferried to the island's immigration detention centre.
He told national broadcaster ABC he did not know the nationalities of those on board the vessel.
Authorities did not give a reason for the sinking, which occurred in calm seas and good weather.
Most asylum-seeker boats cross from Indonesia's Java Island. Christmas Island is the nearest landfall.
There are 1,585 asylum seekers detained on Christmas Island, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Four boats arrived at Christmas Island at the weekend. The Immigration Department said 2,362 asylum seekers had arrived by boat so far this year, compared with 1,259 in the equivalent period last year.
Claims for asylum in Australia rose 37 per cent in 2012 to 16,000, according to a UN report.
Most Popular Stories
- U.S. Families 'Extraordinarily Vulnerable': Yellen
- Hillary Clinton to Address CHCI Conference
- Larry Ellison Steps Down as Oracle CEO
- Alibaba Prices IPO at $68 a Share
- Veterans to Get Training as Solar Panel Installers
- Apple Locks Itself Out of Devices
- Hispanics Doubt Marco Rubio's Chances
- Wildfires Rage in California
- John Cantlie Delivers ISIS Message to Save Life
- Alibaba: Today China, Tomorrow the World