Saturday, 28 September 2013

SIEV count since Abbott came to power and applied media blackout concerning asylum seeker boat arrivals.

On 18 September 2013 the Abbott Government was sworn in and Australia became subject to an official information blackout concerning the number of unscheduled boat arrivals involving people thought or known to be seeking asylum in this country.

Here are the boat details so far:

22 September - HMAS Maitland and another vessel escorts SIEV boat into Christmas Island harbour – the Cahaya Baru contains 31 passengers and 2 crew.
24 September – SIEV boat containing 7 asylum seekers arrives on Australia’s Boigu Island in the Torres Strait 
25 September - SIEV boat containing 19 people arrives at Darwin Harbour sometime during the night of the 24th or early hours of the morning of the 25th.
26 September - SIEV boat arrives Christmas Island Harbour with an estimated 80 passengers including children. HMAS Ballarat takes part in the rescue of another 44 asylum seekers in Indonesian waters with these people transferred to an Indonesian rescue vessel for return to Indah Kiat port in Java.
27 September – boat heading towards Australia and estimated to contain up to 125 asylum seekers sinks off southern coast of Java. At least 20 bodies, mostly children under 15 years, washed ashore so far. Australian Customs Vessel ACV Triton rescues 31 asylum seekers from another boat and is thought to be still at sea off Timor.

Estimated total number of boat passengers and crew: 339


30 September - 2 RAN patrol boats enter Christmas Island harbour with an estimated 80 asylum seekers (men, women and children) on board, thought to have been picked up from a boat which was either sinking or was otherwise considered unseaworthy.

Estimated total number of boat passengers and crew as of 30.09.13: 419


10 October 2013 SIEV boat with unknown number of asylum seekers on board found off Cocos (Keeling) Island.

17 October 2013 at approximately 8am HMAS Warramunga put into Christmas Island and disembarked an unknown number of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa. Including one 8 year-old boy, eight to ten women and two individuals requiring wheelchairs.

* Figures derived from eyewitness accounts tweeted from Christmas Island, international and national media reports.

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