Australian Customs Rip Asylum Seekers' Boat in Half, Probably by Accident

By Gary Cutlack on at

Customs officers protecting the borders of Australia from boat-loads of asylum seekers nearly ended up drowning 40 of them in the sea, after a customs patrol ship managed to tear the bow off a packed fishing boat and had to rescue the unwelcomes.

Eyewitnesses claim the official boat was towing the ship, either back to where it came from or to shore for processing and return of the passengers, when the front of it just... came off. So instead of getting rid of the asylum seekers, the customs patrol had to rescue them, get them out of their wet things, lend them their towels and generally act nicer toward them than they had planned.

The Aussie government has been criticised in the past for trying to return boat loads of unofficial immigrants, as the poor condition of their ships may mean they won't make it back to wherever they sailed in from -- plus some captains sabotage their own vessels to ensure they're not forced to return. [SMH]

Image credit: Australian passport from Shutterstock