The West

Survivors still in the dark
Survivors still in the dark

A woman who survived the Christmas Island boating disaster still has no word on the fate of her husband and seven-year-old son who were standing next to her on deck when the vessel started to break up in heavy seas 10 days ago.

Rana Mohamad, 22, is being held in detention in Perth's eastern suburbs by the Department of Immigration and is unable to get any information on whether her immediate family are alive or dead.

Her brother-in-law, Hussein Alsalman, who lives in Sydney, flew to Perth this week to see her.

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He has visited Mrs Mohamad four times in the past few days and said yesterday she was too devastated about the loss of her family to say much about her ordeal.

"There is nothing more I can do now," Mr Alsalman said before boarding a plane back to Sydney last night. "She has no news of her husband and son. Nothing."

He said he had not been able to get to Christmas Island to see if his stepbrother, Mrs Mohamad's husband Oday Al-Ali, and seven-year-old nephew Abbas, were among the dead or in detention on the island.

"I can't go to Christmas Island, they will not let me see the bodies," he said.

Mr Alsalman said the family were frustrated at the lack of information and concerned for Mrs Mohamad's welfare.

"She is in a very bad situation. It is not good, she needs to get information about her husband and her son," he said.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration said he could not give a "running commentary" on Mrs Mohamad's case but the department was very aware of her position and was doing all that it could to help identify the dead.

"We are dealing with her and talking to her on a regular basis and her wellbeing is obviously a key priority for us and will continue to be so," the spokesman said.

Mrs Mohamad was injured when the boat smashed into rocks on December 15.

On Sunday, she described holding the hands of her husband and son on the deck of the stricken vessel before heavy seas separated the family.

Mrs Mohamad was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with deep cuts to her head, shoulders and legs and was discharged last Sunday into the care of the department.

The West Australian

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