JAKARTA, (Xinhua): Some 58 Afghan refugees are still missing after the boat taking them
to Australia sank in Indonesian waters, while 14 have been rescued by local fishermen, a
rescue official said Saturday.
The boat, which was believed to carry 72 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, sank in waters
off Indonesia’s Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands around Wednesday, Roghmali,
spokesman of the Search and Rescue Agency of Bandung, West Java told Xinhua.
Roghmali said the rescue team is still searching around the waters off the west of Java for
survivors amid bad weather after 14 refugees were rescued by Indonesian fisherman.
Roghmali said it’s difficult to know the exact number of refugees on board and located the
capsizal spot as refugees were not cooperative.
“14 people were rescued at Ujung Genteng area, in West Java’s Suakbumi Regency early
Friday after about 24-hour drift at sea,” Roghmali said.
Roghmali added that 12 of them have arrived in Jakarta for investigation on Friday and the
other two are still in the immigration office of West Java’s Bogor City.
Indonesia is a transit hub for refugees from the Middle East and South Asia seeking asylum
in Australia. However, the asylum seekers prefer to turn to Australia for help when their boat
malfunctioned as Indonesia usually deport the refugees instead of granting them refugee