SYDNEY: A boat carrying around 100 suspected asylum seekers has sunk in the Indian Ocean, and Australian officials are hurrying to rescue passengers from the water.

The boat sank Tuesday about 220 kilometers north of Christmas Island, where Australia operates a detention camp for asylum seekers.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says an estimated 105 people were on board.

The agency said it received a call for help Tuesday morning.

An Australian navy ship was sent to the scene and reported the boat had sunk.

Christmas Island is around 500 kilometres south of Jakarta, Indonesia. It is a popular destination for asylum seekers who crowd into boats at Indonesian ports and pay smugglers to ferry them to Australian shores.