The Australian Refugee Action Coalition says 45 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers are being rescued from a boat drifting near Christmas Island, ABC News reported.
Refugee activists alerted border protection authorities about the boat after receiving distress calls from those on board this afternoon (Saturday).
Refugee Action Coalition Spokesman Ian Rintoul says the asylum seekers will now be taken to Christmas Island for processing.
"They'd left from Sri Lanka on the 20th of January I was told, but have now run out of fuel and the boat's drifting," he said.
"They'd been without food or water for the last four days and people are quite sick. There are a couple of cases of chicken pox and diarrhoea."