110 people rescued from capsized boat near Australia

Story highlights

  • The ship overturns midway between Australia and Indonesia
  • Vessels are on the scene in hope of rescuing survivors
  • One of those rescued was a 13-year-old boy
  • All the other passengers were adults

Rescuers have saved 110 people from a ship that capsized in the waters between Australia and Indonesia and are searching for the many missing, an Australian official said Friday.

The boat, that was carrying about 200 people, flipped over Thursday, authorities said, triggering the massive rescue effort.

A 13-year-old boy was one of the many rescued, Australia Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The others that were rescued were all adults, Clare said. Authorities believe all the passengers in the ship were male, according to Clare.

The survivors were being transported to Christmas Island.

"Over the course of 36 hours from the time the boat capsized, my advice is that people can survive out there if they've got either life jackets or they are able to hold onto debris, as a lot of people did through the course of yesterday," Clare said. "So the window is still there where we hold out the prospect of finding more people alive."

On Thursday, authorities said the vessel was 110 nautical miles northwest of Christmas Island. Indonesia has sent two warships to assist Australian rescue efforts.

And Clare said four more ships would be in the area Friday to help the ships and aircraft that are already searching.

Christmas Island has been the scene of another recent boat capsizing.

At least 28 people died in December 2010 when a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed into cliffs near the coast of the island.

Most of the people on the boat were from Iran and Iraq, a rescue worker said at the time.