Huge toll as boat sinks

MORE than 200 asylum seekers are feared to have died after their boat sank off Java, victims of increasingly brazen syndicates that are funnelling people through Jakarta airport before packing them onto unsafe boats bound for Australia.

Just over a year after a disaster off Christmas Island in which 50 people died, a boat carrying about 250 asylum seekers sank off Prigi beach in eastern Java on Saturday.

There were conflicting reports last night about how many people survived. Indonesian officials said there were only 34 - contradicting Australia's new Home Affairs Minister, Jason Clare, who said 87 asylum seekers had been rescued.

The Afghans and Iranians who survived five hours in the water included two boys aged about 10 and two women, while the rest were adult males.

An Afghan survivor, Esmat Adine, described the sinking as ''like the Titanic''. The boat capsized quickly from the rear, he told the Indonesian news site ''We tried to hold onto anything,'' he said.

Read more on the Brisbane Times

Topics:  boat java

VIDEO: Cycling video secures driver conviction

VIDEO EVIDENCE: A motorcyclist has lost his licence for 18 months after his assault on two cyclists in June 2017 was captured on a rear-light bicycle video camera.

Motorcyclist loses licence after cyclist assault

Routine gun check escalates into crime scene

Police established a crime scene at a Jiggi home after suspected cannabis plants were found during a gun compliance check.

Routine gun check uncovers more than guns, ammo

Local Partners