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The West AustralianUpdated September 26, 2012, 6:30 pm
Australian authorities have rescued 55 people on a suspected asylum seeker boat northwest of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, off WA.
Customs vessel Hervey Bay “rendered assistance” to the passengers on board the boat last night, Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said in a statement today.
The boat is the third to be intercepted last night.
Details about the state of the boat or the type of assistance given were not available.
The passengers have been taken to the Cocos Islands for health and security checks before being transferred to Christmas Island.
Also last night, two boats carrying a total of 53 people were found by border protection vessels north west of the Cocos Islands.
The boats were intercepted by the customs vessel Hervey Bay overnight on Tuesday.
One was carrying 38 people and the other had 15 on board, the federal government said in a statement on Wednesday.
All three boats were to be transferred to the Christmas Island detention facility for security, health and identity checks.
Under the Federal Government’s new offshore processing regime, anyone who arrives by boat without a visa could be sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea. Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/14965402/asylum-seekers-rescued-from-boat/
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