27 Feb 2010

Another asylum seeker boat off Christmas Island

6:19 am on 27 February 2010

Another boat carrying 45 asylum seekers has been intercepted off the north west coast of Australia.

Border protection authorities found the boat about five nautical miles west of Christmas Island on Thursday night.

The ABC reports those on board will be taken to the island for security and health checks.

Opposition border protection spokesman Michael Keenan said he is concerned that the boat managed to get so close to the island.

He said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his ministers were "completely incapable of protecting Australia's borders".

Mr Keenan said the rate of boats is increasing to the point where border protection command was so "stretched they only intercepted this boat within visual distance of Christmas Island."

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said on 18 February the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia was out of control.

He said 13 boats had so far arrived in 2010, carrying more than 700 people in seven weeks.