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Navy intercepts 21st asylum-seeker (invader) boat in 2010
A NAVY patrol boat has intercepted an asylum-seeker (invader) boat in waters off Australia's northwest coast.
The interception was announced just moments before Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was set to deliver a historic address to the federal parliament.
HMAS Armidale, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the boat just after 8am (AEDT) today, north of the Ashmore Islands.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said initial indications suggested 46 passengers (invaders) and three crew were on board the vessel.
It is the 21st asylum-seeker (invader) boat to be intercepted in Australian waters this year and the third in less than a week.
The Rudd government has been under pressure to stem the flow of asylum-seekers (invaders)
People-smuggling is not currently a criminal offence in Indonesia, the main transit point for asylum-seekers (invaders) heading to Australia.
The latest group will be transferred to Christmas Island, where they will undergo security, identity and health checks.
Their reasons for travel will also be established.
The tally at 10/3/2010 69 days into 2010 was 21 boats carrying 1,064 invaders.
Here was boat 22 from 11/3/2010 - to Australia and the latest interception comes in the wake of an announcement that Australia and Indonesia have signed off on a framework for greater co-operation on tackling people smuggling.
Australian navy rescues asylum seekers (invaders) off northern coast
Australia's immigration department says the navy has rescued a boat off the Northern Territory coast with 24 asylum seekers (invaders) on board.
Navy officers boarded the boat about 350 kilometres north west of Darwin at about 10 o'clock this morning.
The three crew on board told them the engine wasn't working, but the boat wasn't in danger of sinking.
An immigration department spokesman says the patrol boat is taking the asylum seekers (invaders) and crew to Christmas Island for identity, security and health checks.
It's the 22nd asylum seeker boat to be intercepted this year.
Transferred to Darwin
The immigration department has started transferring crew members from asylum seeker (invader) boats from Christmas Island to an immigration detention centre in Darwin.
Twelve crew members were transferred to Darwin on Wednesday.
That means a total of 58 crew members are being held in the centre, including 14 children who were working on the boats who are being detained in a separate section.
But the department says no decision has been made to transfer asylum seekers (invaders) to Darwin.
It says 1854 asylum seekers (invaders) are being held on Christmas Island, along with 18 crew.
The detention centre's capacity is 2040.
A department spokeswoman says an extra 400 bed compound on the island is due for completion by the end of March or early April.
The tally at 11/3/2010 70 days into 2010 was 22 boats carrying 1,088 invaders.
Here was boat 23 on 12/3/2010 -
Asylum seekers' (invader) boat rescued
Authorities have rescued another group of asylum seekers (invaders) in waters off Australia's north-west coast.
The boat carrying eight passengers (invaders) and four crew was first spotted from the air before HMAS Glenelg was called in to render assistance.
Navy personnel boarded the boat about 10pm yesterday, 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) west of the Tiwi Islands.
It is the 23rd asylum seeker (invader) boat intercepted in Australian waters this year and the fifth in a week.
The group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks. Their reasons for travel will also be established.
HMAS Glenelg rescued another boat carrying 24 asylum seekers (invaders) and three crew 118 nautical miles north-west of the Tiwi Islands yesterday.
The tally at 12/3/2010 71 days into 2010 was 23 boats carrying 1,096 invaders.
Here was boat 24 from 14/3/2010 -
24th boat intercepted in Australian waters
A BOAT carrying 35 suspected asylum seekers (invaders) and two crew has been intercepted by border protection officers.
HMAS Albany discovered the boat floating northwest of Christmas Island on the evening of March 13.
It's the 24th illegal entry vessel to arrive in Australian waters this year.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said Australia is working proactively with its neighbours through bilateral co-operation to curb people smuggling.
The group will be taken to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks, and be asked about their reasons for travel.
The tally at 14/3/2010 73 days into 2010 was 24 boats carrying 1,131 invaders.