20 rescued from capsized Indonesian fishing vessel off Western Australia

A rigid-hulled inflatable boat from HMAS Anzac takes on rescued Indonesian fishermen from the Japanese vessel Fukuseki Maru No 15 in the Indian Ocean, May 15, 2021. (Photo: Royal Australian Navy/Leading Seaman Thomas Sawtell)
A rigid-hulled inflatable boat from HMAS Anzac takes on rescued Indonesian fishermen from the Japanese vessel Fukuseki Maru No 15 in the Indian Ocean, May 15, 2021. (Photo: Royal Australian Navy/Leading Seaman Thomas Sawtell)

A Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship and a Japanese commercial fishing vessel came to the aid of the crew of an Indonesian fishing vessel in distress 670 nautical miles off the coast of Western Australia on Saturday, May 15.

The crew of the fishing vessel Bandar Nelayan were picked up by the Japanese commercial fishing vessel Fukuseki Maru No 15 following a mayday call that led to an international search effort that included the RAN frigate HMAS Anzac.

The Indonesian fishermen had been clinging to their partially submerged vessel for a day in rough seas when they were found.

Anzac's crew convened with the Japanese vessel and all 20 Indonesian fishermen were transferred to the frigate via small boats. The survivors were then given medical treatment by the frigate's embarked doctors and other personnel.

Commander Brendan Horn, Anzac's commanding officer, said that all rescued fishermen were in good condition and had tested negative for Covid-19.

Anzac had just completed a 10-week regional presence deployment throughout South-East Asia and the north-east Indian Ocean, when it answered the distress call from the Indonesian fishing vessel.

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