Forty-four Sri Lanka migrants, including nine children, have been found in the waters off Lhoknga in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh, local media reported yesterday.
Tribunnews.com reported that local fishermen spotted the Indian-flagged boat in Lhoknga on Saturday at about 10am (0300 GMT) and notified the authorities.
Local military official in Lhoknga Major Darul Amin said that based on an inspection of the boat, it departed a month ago from India bound for Christmas Island, Australia.
The boat was seaworthy but it experienced engine trouble and had been stranded in Indonesian waters for more than 24 hours.
“All the passengers are in good health. They seem to have enough logistics supplies and have no problems,” he was quoted as saying.
Immigration data showed the passengers comprised 35 adults and nine children, but they were not allowed to disembark in Indonesian territory as the boat and the passengers didn’t have permission to do so.
Tribunnews.com reported that the Indonesian authorities would tow the boat back to international waters yesterday morning.
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