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Government immigration boat went down

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 28, 2011) – The manufacturer of an Australian immigration department patrol boat that sank in the Torres Strait in 2005 has been fined for supplying an unseaworthy vessel.

Five people - including a child - died when the Malu Sara went down on a trip from Saibai to Badu Island.

On Thursday, the Federal Court in the north-east Australian city of Brisbane fined the boat builder, Subsee Explorer, the maximum amount of AU$242,000 for supplying an unseaworthy vessel.

Paul O'Connor, from the Federal Government's workplace health and safety watchdog Comcare, says it is a landmark ruling and Subsee's breaches were serious.

"The fact that five people were killed in this tragedy is nothing short of an outrage," he said.

Last December, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship was fined for breaching workplace health and safety laws over the same incident.

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