October 19

October 19, 2001: An overcrowded Indonesian fishing boat full of asylum seekers apparently en route to Australia sank in the Indian Ocean. A total of 353 people died - 65 men, 142 women, and 146 children. The sinking, while taking place in international waters, was inside the Australian border surveillance zone.

Despite a Royal Commission, the exact circumstances of the sinking, including whether Australian authorities wilfuly failed to conduct a rescue, remain unclear. The Howard government insisted that the ship sank in Indonesian waters and that only 60 children died anyway.

The ill-fated boat has become known as SIEV X: Suspected Illegal Entry Vehicle - Unknown.

The website sievx.com carries a chronology and other details relating to the sinking and subsequent events.