November 2009 Indian Ocean migrant boat disaster
The November 2009 Indian Ocean migrant boat disaster occurred in the early hours of Monday, 2 November 2009, when a boat carrying about forty Sri Lankan asylum seekers sank in the Indian Ocean at a distance of some 350 nautical miles (650 km) north-west of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. According to the initial reports made the same day, more than 20 migrants were missing after 17 had been accounted for and/or saved by the RAAF and the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. The day after on 3 November 2009, one migrant was confirmed dead, his body having been found, and at least eleven were reported as missing.
The boat had issued a distress signal late Sunday night and it was detected in international waters within Australia's search and rescue zone. Two vessels responded to the initial distress call, a commercial ship carrying liquid natural gas, the LNG Pioneer and a trawler named FV Kuamg. It is believed the migrant boat capsized during attempts to rescue the passengers made by the two vessels, who could nevertheless pick up more than a dozen survivors before the arrival of the Australian authorities.
- S. Maiden (2 November 2009). "About 20 asylum-seekers still missing after boat capsized during rescue". The Australian.
- B. Nicholson; Y. Narushima; A. Probyn (3 November 2009). "Search in dark for boat people". Brisbane Times.