SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) — Rescue officials say they have rescued 60 asylum seekers in a troubled boat adrift in heavy seas off of Indonesia's main island of Java.
The head of the local search and rescue agency, Sutrisno, says the 60 people from Iraq and Iran were found Thursday on a wooden boat near Madura island.
Those rescued told authorities they had been trying to reach Australia, but the boat's engine broke down late Sunday. They said three Indonesian crew members abandoned them.
Sutrisno says some of those aboard called relatives in Australia asking for help. Australia then contacted Indonesian authorities, who found the boat by tracking a mobile phone signal.
Sutrisno uses only one name like many Indonesians.
Indonesia is a major transit point for migrants trying to make their way Australia.