A boat ferrying around 200 asylum seekers to Australia capsized in Indonesian waters on Thursday. Authorities fear that as many as 75 people have drowned, while some 40 people are currently clinging to the upturned hull of the ship as they wait for rescuers, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Accidents on over-crowded boats illegally smuggling migrants from Indonesia to Australia's Christmas Island are not uncommon. In December, 200 people were killed when a boat sank near East Java. A year earlier, 50 were killed during a storm, according to Reuters.
"Australia is a place with a very long coastline but unfortunately a coastline that has its dangers. And today, our nation has been reminded of those dangers due to the loss of a boat at sea causing loss of life," Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said from a conference in Brazil on Thursday.
Gillard is reportedly in communication with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
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