A boat carrying suspected asylum seekers has been intercepted off Australia's northwest coast, the second such vessel found in the same area, Australian Associated Press reported Saturday.
Border Protection intercepted the vessel, carrying 83 passengers and four crew, at midnight local time about 80 nautical miles south of Ashmore Island.
The surveillance aircraft which spotted the boat late Friday night believed it was in distress.
Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor said in a statement "the people on board the vessel are safe and have indicated that they wish to come to Australia."
The group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks, he said.
It is the second boat intercepted this week after a vessel carrying seven passengers was found in the same area on Monday.
Another 56 Afghanis trying to travel to Australia in a wooden boat were detained in Indonesia, a navy official said on Friday.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2009)