Do you want to remove all your recent searches?

All recent searches will be deleted

Video of moment strong waves smash asylum boat

7 years ago2.2K views



The desperate last moments of dozens of men, women and children on a wooden boat caught up in high swells minutes before it smashed into rocks has been shown on Australia TV.

At least 28 people died in the accident off the coast of Christmas Island on Wednesday and more than 40 were rescued.

The video showed asylum-seekers sitting helplessly on board the small fishing boat as swells up to three meters continue to push the vessel towards the sharp jagged cliff.

A few local residents were seen standing near the rocks looking at the boat, unable to help due to treacherous conditions.

Eyewitness, Simon Prince, told Australia's Network Nine that it was impossible to do anything for the passengers.

"The gut response was to seeing people drowning and dying was to dive in and try save them but to do that would have been suicide.Scarred for life, what can I say, pretty much haunted by few visions, I have got some very disturbing imagery in my head".

Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard said earlier that the death toll could rise, as there were around 100 people believed to be on board the boat.

Police said most of the passengers on the timber Indonesian boat were Iraqis. Gillard also said bad weather meant the ill-fated boat was not detected until it was in trouble, but added all the facts would not be clear until police and custom and border protection agencies held inquiries.