Australian authorities have gone to the aid of a boat carrying 63 suspected asylum seekers off the WA coast.
The vessel, which arrived on Wednesday afternoon, is the third asylum-seeker boat in 24 hours to reach Australian waters.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority Rescue Coordination Centre co-ordinated a search and rescue operation before finding it north-west of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Home Affairs minister Jason Clare said in a statement today.
Merchant vessel TW Manila picked up the 63 passengers and they arrived at Christmas Island this morning to undergo security, health and identity checks.
Two other vessels, carrying a total of 146 passengers, arrived in Australian waters earlier yesterday.
HMAS Launceston found one boat north-east of Ashmore Islands with 80 passengers on board while the other with 66 passengers was found north-west of Christmas Island and assisted by HMAS Childers and HMAS Maitland."People arriving by boat without a visa after 13 August 2012 run the risk of transfer to a regional processing country," Mr Clare said.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.