Asylum seeker deaths: Authorities took two days before launching search for doomed boat

Hazara Asylum Seekers

December 22, 2013 | the Sydney Morning Herald

It took two days after an asylum seeker boat was seen near Christmas Island in June for Australia’s maritime authority to mount a co-ordinated search and rescue effort for the boat.

But by the time authorities found the boat it was debris, having sunk. It is believed the 60 people on board, including women and children, died. Australian authorities did not recover the bodies.

Data interactive - Asylum seeker drownings since 1990Drownings reach a grim milestone: Explore data on asylum seeker deaths at sea.

An internal review by the Customs and Border Protection Service review found authorities had ”demonstrated an appropriate and timely approach” to locating the stricken boat.

With no distress call issued from the boat and two naval vessels in the region engaged with other asylum seeker boats, Border Protection Command instead monitored the situation for two days before upgrading its response.

The report comes 18 months…

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