- Eleven migrants have been detained after arriving in Queensland by boat.
- Others are thought to be on the run.
- There are concerns for those missing as the area is infested with saltwater crocodiles.
Australian authorities are responding to what is thought to be an illegal fishing vessel found north of Port Douglas in Queensland.
Eleven people have reportedly been detained, but others are believed to be on the run, according to the Department of Home Affairs.
It’s unclear how many people were on the vessel.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) and Queensland police are at the scene.
“We can confirm that a number of potential unlawful non-citizens have been located,” the ABF told Business Insider.
“The ABF and Department of Home Affairs will undertake the necessary border processes to establish circumstances around the arrival.”
Authorities were tipped off after the boat was spotted by a local tourism operator.
“I’d just done a fishing tour at the mouth of the Daintree this morning and we saw this boat that looked like Chinese junk near Cape Kimberley,” David Patterson told the ABC.
The are concerns for the other people yet to be located as the region is infested with saltwater crocodiles.
“We don’t know whether these are illegal refugees or we don’t know if these are fishermen who were maybe fishing illegally and have ended up in Australian waters and the boat’s gone bad and they’ve got trapped,” Cairns state MP Michael Healy said.
In 2016, the Queensland government dedicate an additional $5.8 million for crocodile management over three years after a tourist was killed by a 4.3 metre crocodile at Thornton Beach.
The ABC has more.
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