The Indonesian fishing boat SUMBER LESTARI, (later termed SIEV 10), with 164 suspected illegal immigrants onboard, caught fire and sank near Ashmore Reef. The patrol boat HMAS WOLLONGONG, (LCDR S. Thompson, RAN), then in the area on Operation Relex border protection patrols, rendered assistance. WOLLONGONG rescued all 164 passengers, but two were unconscious and later died. CPOMT D. R. Zanker was later awarded the CSC for actions in providing medical support to the passengers.
The LPA, HMAS KANIMBLA, (CMDR D. G. McCourt, RAN), and guided missile frigate HMAS ADELAIDE, (CMDR N. S. Banks, RAN), departed Western Australia for service in the Arabian Gulf, as part of Operation Slipper, (International Campaign Against Terrorism). In early December they linked up with HMAS SYDNEY, (guided missile frigate), to conduct patrols of the Northern Arabian Gulf, searching for vessels attempting to smuggle oil out of Iraq.