Twenty Indonesian fishermen have been rescued from a sinking fishing boat off the coast of Western Australia in an operation involving Australian authorities and a Japanese fishing vessel.

Indonesia authorities notified the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Thursday that the vessel was in distress 670 nautical miles west of Perth.

The Perth AMSA Challenger Jet dropped life jackets to the group on Friday before Australian Defence Force aircraft deployed life rafts to the vessel.

After a Japanese fishing vessel arrived to assist the boat on Saturday, the men were transferred about the HMAS Anzac, which had medical support onboard.

AMSA executive director response Mark Morrow said all people involved in the rescue mission were relieved with the outcome of the operation.

indonesian fishermen in lifejackets aboard a semi-submerged vessel wave their hands
Fisherman aboard the vessel wave to the AMSA Challenger Jet for help.(

Supplied: ADF


“Yesterday, Japanese fishing vessel FUKUSEKI MARU 15 reached the Indonesian fishermen, whose boat was sinking, and was able to render assistance to those onboard,” Mr Morrow said.

“Their quick response was instrumental to the success of this time-sensitive mission.

“HMAS Anzac was then able to arrive with medical and interpreter support for the rescued fishermen.

“The successful saving of 20 lives at sea is an incredible achievement of which all responding authorities should be proud. We appreciate the assistance of the Australian Defence Force and FV FUKUSEKI MARU 15 in this search and rescue mission.”

a sinking Indonesia fishing boat is shown at sea with men in lifejackets on board
The boat was sinking when rescuers arrived. (

Supplied: AMSA


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