The greatest maritime catastrophe off Australian shores since World War Two occurred in 2001. It is estimated that 146 children, 142 women and 65 men lost their lives when their boat sank. The boat has come to be called SIEV-X. SIEV is the acronym for Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel, used by the Australian Defence Force since 2001 for intercepted refugee boats. The X stands for unknown.
At approximately 3pm on 19 October 2001, the boat began to sink in international waters inside the Australian aerial border protection surveillance zone. The Australian Government still denies that this was the case.
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