The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) has called off a search for nine people missing from a boat which sank more than 600km northwest of Cocos Island three days ago.
The ABC reports 27 of the 39 people on board have been rescued and three have been confirmed dead.
Nine people, including two teenagers aged 13 and 14, are still missing.
The MSA says medical advice indicates that there is no chance they could have survived.
The survivors, including a 15-year-old, were picked up by a nearby ship, the LNG Pioneer, which is taking them to Christmas Island for health and identity checks.
Australia says there wil be an independent inquiry into the deaths.