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Six people dead and three missing after Indonesian fishing boat capsizes off Australian coast

The Guardian - March 22, 2022

Cait Kelly, and Gemma Holliani Cahya in Jakarta – Six people are dead and another three are believed to have drowned after an Indonesian fishing boat capsized off the north-west coast of Western Australia.

There were 12 people aboard when the boat, named Kuda Laut which translates to Horse Sea, capsized on Sunday evening about 180km west of Ashmore Reef.

Three people, Melki Giri, Riki Balu and Habel Kanuk, were rescued by a Singapore-flagged bulk carrier which was diverted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa).

"AMSA diverted the Singapore-flagged bulk carrier PSU Sixth, which rescued three survivors from the fishing vessel," a spokesperson said.

"The helicopter crew re-fuelled en route at a nearby oil rig before conducting a winch recovery of one survivor, who was critically ill, and recovering them to Broome hospital."

The other two survivors were transferred to an Australian government vessel and were expected to arrive in Darwin on Tuesday, Amsa said.

"Unfortunately, there were nine crew members who were not able to be located."

The fisherman departed on March 17 from East Nusa Tenggara, the southernmost province of Indonesia and are all residents of Hundiduk Village, according to local media.

The six others who have found dead and have been identified as the captain of the boat, Yohanis Balu, Ibrahim Loe, Ibnu Sodo, Ike Baluk, Denis Busu and Panji Balu.

Three others are still missing including, Benyamin Pah, Adi Arbet Giri dan Rifan Balu.

Indonesian media reports said the wooden vessel had been sunk after being hit by a large wave.

The weather on the Ashmore Reef, which is located in the Indian Ocean, about 630km north of Broome, has been rough this week because of Tropical Cyclone Charlotte, which is moving through the area as a tropical low.

It is currently unclear if the boat was fishing legally, but Australian authorities have recently increased their patrols in the areas after an escalation in illegal fishing.

Some 29 boats have been destroyed by Australian authorities recently as they try to curb the numbers and hundreds of kilograms of seafood have been confiscated.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/21/nine-people-feared-dead-after-indonesian-fishing-boat-capsizes-off-australian-coas