An Indonesian navy ship was deployed on Wednesday to Aceh province's Lhok Nga Beach to tow a stranded boat carrying dozens of Sri Lankan migrants, which broke down in route to Australia, back to the open sea, the Jakarta globe reports.
The announcement was made at a meeting of local government, military and police officials, with the warship expected to reach Lhok Nga by late Wednesday afternoon, reportedly.
And the migrants will also be provided with 7 metric tons of fuel to allow them to continue their journey to Australia.
The boat, carrying more than 40 reportedly ethnic Tamil asylum seekers including nine children and a pregnant woman, drifted into Aceh waters on Saturday after experiencing engine failure about 20 days into the journey.
The migrants, who have been banned from stepping foot on Indonesian soil, have remained on board the stranded vessel for the past five days, refusing to move on until being granted fuel to continue their journey.
They have been provided with medical checkups and food, while a mechanic was also sent on board to look over the boat.
Local NGO Geutanyoe Foundation today called on the Indonesian government to allow the Tamils to remain in Aceh to regain their strength before travelling on to Australia.