Refugee Confirming what we feared about drownings

‘GREG’: It was a very hot day. It was up to 45 degrees. We conducted this boarding, steamed the vessel to a buoy off Christmas Island, which it was secured to while we waited for someone to make a decision. But it was determined that, firstly, it wasn’t a good look to have a SIEV arriving on Australia Day. Secondly, there was no-one in the office to talk to who had the ability to make the decision without worrying about having to cover their own backside. So as a result, we sat on that boat with 90 – upwards of 90 men, women and children in 45-degree heat. These people had already been suffering from carbon monoxide exposure as well as from the sun and seasickness. And we sat on that boat for six and a half hours to wait for darkness to fall so we were then able to unload the people without creating a stir. Without the media being able to know all the details of it. And it was a very, very unhappy time.

Pamela Curr
Refugee and Detention Rights Advocate
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

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