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Dozens Saved After Second Christmas Island Sinking
 
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27-Jun-2012  
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More than 120 people have been rescued after a boat sank north of Christmas Island, a week after an asylum-seeker boat sank in the area.

Australian officials said merchant vessels had gathered 123 people from the water, after the boat sent a distress call early on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said between 123 and 133 people were believed to have been on board.

Two Australian navy vessels were on their way to the site.

"There is reason to believe that there are around 123 to 133 people on board," Ms Gillard said. "My best advice is that 123 people have been rescued."

An image of the vessel, taken before it sank by one of the merchant vessels at the scene and released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, showed people crowded on the deck of the boat.

Last week, a boat carrying asylum-seekers sank off Christmas Island, which is part of Australian territory.

The boat was believed to have been carrying about 200 people. A total of 110 people were rescued and 17 bodies were found. The search for survivors was called off late on Saturday.
 
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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