More bodies found after asylum seeker shipwreck

A search team looks for survivors from an asylum seeker boat that sank off the east Java coast.Photo:       At least 47 people have been rescued after the disaster, but hopes are fading for up to 200 more. (AFP: Juni Kriswanto)

Indonesian search teams have found dozens of bodies presumed to be from the overloaded asylum seeker boat which sank with more than 200 people on board.

East Java search and rescue agency chief Sutrisno says scores of bodies have been found in the water around 300 kilometres from where the boat of asylum seekers sank on Saturday morning.

He says only 30 have been recovered so far and local fishermen are helping bring more into shore.

At least 47 survivors have been rescued after the vessel, which had a capacity of 100 but was carrying 250 mostly Afghan and Iranian migrants, sank 40 nautical miles off eastern Java.

Thirty-four migrants were plucked from shark-infested waters by fishermen on Saturday and 13 others were found drifting in a dinghy on Monday.

Officials said they were trying to establish whether two Indonesians found on Monday near eastern Java’s Malang city were crew members.

The survivors of the disaster have been frustrated and angry waiting for news of their missing loved ones.

More than 30 of them were moved from a hotel to an immigration detention centre this morning.

They say they were heading to Christmas Island, a favoured destination for people smugglers, lying closer to Indonesia than Australia and where nearly 50 would-be migrants are believed to have died in a shipwreck in December last year.

The latest capsize is considered the “largest loss of life” yet from a sinking of one of the many boats packed with Asian and Middle Eastern migrants who undertake the perilous sea voyage from Indonesia to Australia.

The disaster has intensified political debate around the issue of immigration, with the Federal Government and the Opposition blaming each other for refusing to negotiate on the issue.

The Government wants asylum seekers processed in Malaysia, while the Opposition is pushing for the reopening of a detention centre in Nauru.

Matt Brown – ABC News

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About pagan66

I am Pagan, a Witch, a Healer, Mystic & Dreamer. I live in Service to the One. I will Protect & Respect Her bounties to my last breath. I am a Seeker of Truth, a Reformer, A Historian - an Advocate for Religious Freedom, Tolerance & Human Rights. I am a Protector of Animals & Children & those less fortunate than myself. I am a Reader & a Writer - an Artist. I am a Drummer, Gardener & Cook. I listen to the Wisdom of the Ancients. If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman. "When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy View all posts by pagan66

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