Australia calls off rescue operation after boat capsizing
August 31, 2012 -- Updated 1025 GMT (1825 HKT)
Asylum seeker survivors are seen on board an Indonesian rescue boat at Merak seaport on August 31, 2012.
- The 55 survivors are headed to Merak, Indonesia
- Rescuers have been searching since Wednesday after a boat reported engine trouble
- Australian authorities say there is "no realistic prospect" of other survivors
- Ships carrying asylum seekers in Australia regularly run into trouble in the area
(CNN) -- Australian authorities ended their efforts to find survivors Friday after a boat carrying scores capsized off the coast of Indonesia this week.
An Australian naval ship and four merchant vessels rescued 55 people in an area west of the Indonesian island of Java, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. But many more others may have perished in the sea.
The authority said it was halting further efforts following medical advice that "there is no realistic prospect of survivability." One body was recovered during the rescue operation.
Rescuers had been searching for survivors since Wednesday, when Australian authorities received a call from someone aboard saying the vessel was having engine trouble. The caller said it had about 150 people aboard, presumed to be asylum seekers.
The survivors, including at least three with injuries, were being taken to Merak, Indonesia, Australian authorities said.
Several ships carrying asylum seekers in Australia have run into trouble in the waters between Indonesia and Australia in recent years.
Read more: Asylum seekers risking all to escape dangers of home
Vessels often head for Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory closer to Java than to the Australian mainland.
Dozens of people are believed to have died after two ships capsized near Christmas Island in June. More than 200 people were rescued from those accidents.
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories