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West Papuan Vessel Located off Australia

Vessel Located

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today a vessel missing in the Torres Strait for several days, had been located in Cape York in Australia's far north.

The vessel, a large traditional outrigger canoe, was located in Cape York at about 2pm EST.

‘I am pleased that Coastwatch located the missing boat and its occupants,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Officials from Customs, AQIS, DIMIA and Queensland Police also made contact with the group at about 5pm EST.

‘An Australian Customs vessel is enroute.’

Senator Vanstone added the group on board the outrigger included 30 males, six females and seven minors.

‘There was an initial concern that four of the males had left the main group, but they were subsequently located by Coastwatch and returned,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Everyone in the group we have located is co-operating with officials,’ the Minister added.

Senator Vanstone said government officials are considering accommodation and logistical options for the group.

‘This is a remote locality so it presents challenges,’ Senator Vanstone said.

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