A boat carrying about 200 asylum seekers capsized and sunk 120 miles off Australia's Christmas Island at 3 pm (AEST) today. Survivors have been spotted in the water.
Australian authorities have said the number of survivors is not yet known. To Vima reported Australian military aircraft reported survivors have been detected in the area of the wreck.
Nahranet reported the boat sent out a distress signal and then capsized 120 nautical miles from Christmas Island and 1,600 miles from the Australian mainland.
Australian merchant vessels and patrol boats, along with two defense planes equipped with life rafts, have been sent to assist with rescue efforts coordinated by the Indonesian search and rescue authorities.
According to the BBC Christmas Island is regularly targeted by asylum seekers hoping to enter Australia. During the past 24 hours three other boats carrying 238 asylum seekers have been intercepted near Christmas Island.