Australia, Dec 15: Inhabitants of Christmas Island will not have a happy memory of the impending Christmas season. A boat-full of asylum seekers were caught in the rough waves and more than two dozen people were feared dead in the aftermath.
According to customs officials, 42 people have been rescued and 27 bodies were recovered in the tragedy that occurred at the island located thousands of kilometers northwest of Australia in the Indian Ocean.
Official record state that close to 70 people were on board the wooden boat that was smashed on the jagged rocks by the tumultuous waves. Dr. Stephen Langford, a spokesman with Australia's Royal Flying Doctor service is quoted as saying that help has been dispatched to the three survivors who are seriously injured.
In a press conference following the tragedy, deputy PM Wayne Swan described the vessel as a