Boat Carrying Suspected Asylum-Seekers Capsizes off Australia

Rudd Vows Focus on Asylum Seeker Boats as Baby Drowns
Asylum seekers dry their pants on a boat on May 12, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. Indonesian police intercepted the boat that was believed to be headed to Australia. Photographer: Putu Sayoga/Getty Images

A boat carrying about 150 people suspected of seeking asylum capsized north of Australia’s Christmas Island, the country’s Customs and Border Protection Service said.

Four bodies were recovered and 144 survivors were picked up by navy ships, the service said in a statement on its website.

The HMAS Albany and the HMAS Warramunga had been escorting the boat to Christmas Island when it capsized. The agency statement said sailors from its boats and aircraft in the area helped rescue those in the water. A further search for survivors was suspended in the area after a “thorough search,” it said in the statement.

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