Updated 20 Jul 2013, 6:52pm
Locals who watched 17 asylum seekers being transferred to the mainland at Dampier in WA’s north-west on Friday night say most were women and children and appeared to be in good health.
The asylum seekers were first spotted by crews working on an oil platform about 200 kilometres off Dampier early on Friday morning.
They were later intercepted by customs and transferred to a police boat which transported them to the mainland.
Those who witnessed the arrival say customs and police moved quickly to get the asylum seekers off the boat, into vehicles and on to their next destination.
One local, who only wants to be known as Chad, says they appeared to be in good spirits when they arrived in the town last night.
“The thing that stood out to us was just pulling up there and there’s just women and children on the deck,” he said.
It is believed those on board the boat may be from Vietnam.
The group will be taken to Christmas Island for processing.
First published on The ABC, 20/07/2013