Indian Ocean Survivors Arrive At Christmas Island

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6th November 2009, 07:02pm - Views: 607

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Media Enquiries: National Communications Branch (02) 6264 2244



November 2009

Indian Ocean survivors arrive on Christmas Island

The 27 survivors rescued from a boat that capsized in the Indian Ocean this week

arrived at Christmas Island today and will be placed in mandatory detention under the

care of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

The LNG Pioneer, a Bahamas-flagged tanker that responded to the vessel in distress

call and rescued the survivors about 640km north-west of Cocos Island, arrived at the

island shortly after 10am (AEDST).

“The first priority for the department is the health and wellbeing of this group,” a DIAC

spokeswoman said.

“While they appear to be in good physical health, they will now undergo thorough

medical examinations to ensure any health issues are quickly identified.

“We are acutely aware this group has recently endured a highly traumatic experience.

Appropriate medical treatment and mental health support, including grief counselling, will

be available for the 27 survivors on Christmas Island.” 

The survivors will be accommodated in groups in the Phosphate Hill detention facility

and the Construction Camp. This was determined to be the most appropriate form of

accommodation for them, given their circumstances.

The latest arrivals bring the total number of irregular maritime arrivals on Christmas

Island to 1151. The 16 people located off the Tiwi Islands near Darwin on November 4

are en route to the island and are expected to arrive early next week.


The group will undergo rigorous security and identity checks, which are conducted by

security agencies. Their reasons for travel and any claims for protection will also be


There were 39 people believed to have been on board the boat before it capsized on

November 1. One person has been confirmed dead and 11 are still missing.

“DIAC will, of course, fully cooperate with police and the West Australian Coroner in their

investigation into the circumstances of the deaths at sea,” the spokeswoman said.

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