Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan
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Survivors 'standing on hull' of capsized ship

Rescue efforts are under way after a boat believed to be carrying about 200 asylum seekers capsized off Christmas Island, Australian officials say.

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the boat sank in Indonesian waters, 120 nautical miles (220km) north of the island.

At least 40 people have been seen on the hull of the vessel, but police said many others were feared to have died.

Indonesian and Australian rescue vessels were in or heading to the area.

Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said there were not enough life-jackets on board the ship.

  • 21 Jun 2012