29 Jul 2010

Asylum seeker boat in distress

12:47 pm on 29 July 2010

An asylum seeker boat in distress has been stopped by Australian Customs officials near Christmas Island.

A statement from Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor says the vessel was intercepted 85 nautical miles north-west of Christmas Island. It appeared to be in distress.

HMAS Broome and HMAS Armidale assisted to rescue the 81 passengers and four crew.

The ABC reports the group is now on en route to Christmas Island where the asylum seekers will undergo security and health checks.