Latest asylum boat scare a 'false alarm'
Fears of another asylum-seeker boat disaster have eased this morning.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said a vessel in trouble was about 20 nautical miles off the Java coast this morning and Indonesian authorities were in charge of the rescue.
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare this morning told the ABC that reports the vessel was carrying asylum seekers were unconfirmed.
"Yesterday we had reports of another vessel in distress 20 nautical miles south of Indonesia," he said.
"It came from a fisherman that had rung the Indonesian police and is being managed by Indonesian search and rescue."
Indonesian authorities have since said that they are not conducting any search and rescue missions at present.
There have been two confirmed vessel-in-distress incidents between Indonesia and Australia in less than 24 hours.
Authorities are edgy after a boat carrying about 130 people sank north of Christmas Island with four lives lost yesterday, sparking intense scenes in Parliament.
Late last night, Mr Clare said Customs officers had intercepted a vessel north-west of Christmas Island, with apparently about 100 people on board.
Last night, AMSA called off a search-and-rescue operation for survivors of yesterday's sinking.
AMSA said information from the survivors, including crew members, indicated there were 134 people on board the vessel, with three lost when it sank, and one body recovered from the water.
Border Protection Command deployed two ships, HMAS Maitland and HMAS Leeuwin, and a RAAF AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to the scene mid-way between Christmas Island and Indonesia to render assistance.
Three merchant vessels also responded to AMSA's call for help.
''Following an intense search and rescue operation during the day, no more survivors or deceased people have been sighted in the search area by on scene aircraft or vessels,'' Border Protection Command said in a joint statement with the AMSA.
''Therefore AMSA has determined that all rescue activity has been completed by 2130 AEST.
''All survivors and the one deceased person have been transferred to HMAS Leeuwin and are now being transported to Christmas Island.
- with Michael Bachelard and AAP