On 15 December 2010, a boat carrying around 90 asylum seekers, mostly from Iraq and Iran, sank off the coast of Christmas Island, killing 48 people aboard; 42 survivors were rescued. The boat was Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel [SIEV] 221. It was Australia’s worst peacetime maritime disaster for a century. The allegations are that the Australian Government knew the boat was on its way but failed to send rescue vessels in time. A class action has been commenced to compensate the families of the deceased and to make sure the government cannot turn its back on those seeking rescue on the high seas.

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