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