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Indonesian fishermen rescued off WA

Twenty Indonesian fishermen aboard a semi-submerged trawler have been rescued off the West Australian coast

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority coordinated the safe recovery of the crewmen who were stranded approximately 670 nautical miles west of Perth, on Sunday afternoon.

Indonesian authorities notified the AMSA Response Centre on Thursday that the vessel was in distress and required assistance.

The following morning, the Perth AMSA Challenger Jet conducted a sortie out to the vessel and dropped several life rafts.

Two Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and a C-130J Hercules also deployed rafts.

A Japanese fishing vessel diverted to the distress vessel and rendered initial assistance.

HMAS Anzac eventually transferred the fishermen aboard, with the long-range Navy frigate equipped with an interpreter and medical support.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority Executive Director Response Mark Morrow said the rescue was a relief to all involved.

He said the quick response of the Japanese boat, Fukuseki Maru 15 was instrumental.

“The successful saving of 20 lives at sea is an incredible achievement of which all responding authorities should be proud,” he added.

One of the fishermen required urgent care and was to be be transferred by Anzac’s embarked MH-60R helicopter to a Perth hospital.

Anzac will return the remaining crew to their home port in Bali with an expected arrival late next week.

“I want to thank the crew of HMAS Anzac as well as the aircrew who dropped essential items, which helped the Indonesian crew survive until their rescue,” Defence Minister Peter Dutton said on Sunday night.

“I also want to acknowledge the patience and good will of the families of Anzac’s crew, who are now waiting longer to see their loved ones following a long deployment.”

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