12 Sep 2009

Suspected asylum seekers intercepted off Australia

6:29 pm on 12 September 2009

Authorities have intercepted a boat carrying 83 suspected asylum seekers off Australia's north-west coast.

Border protection staff received a report on Friday saying a boat was in trouble about 150 kilometres south of Ashmore Island.

The ABC reports the boat was intercepted about midnight on Friday by two Australian border protection boats.

The Federal Government says all 83 passengers and four crew members were found safely on board and have said they would like to come to Australia.

Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor says the group is being transferred to Christmas Island to undergo security, identity and health checks.

A boat carrying eight asylum seekers was intercepted at a similar location five days ago.