Australian border protection officials rescued 54 asylum seekers on Sunday from a boat stranded in northern waters, the home affairs minister said.
It was the sixth boatload of asylum seekers that entered Australian waters in the last two weeks, an influx that has stoked political debate over the country's relaxed immigration policies.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said the passengers, some dehydrated and seasick, were rescued by a border protection boat. The vessel was spotted by aircraft the previous day about 1,015 kilometers north of the Cocos-Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Water and food were dropped to the boat by an air force plane, and a merchant vessel, as part of its safety-of-life-at-sea obligations, stayed overnight with the distressed boat, O'Connor said in a statement. He did not say what was wrong with the vessel.
The Jerusalem Post Customer Service Center can be contacted with any questions or requests:
Telephone: *2421 * Extension 4 Jerusalem Post or 03-7619056
The center is staffed and provides answers on Sundays through Thursdays between 07:00 AM and 14:00 PM and Fridays only handles distribution requests between 7:00 AM and 12:30 PM
For international customers: The center is staffed and provides answers on Sundays through Thursdays between 7AM and 14PM Israel time Toll
Free number 1-800-448-9291