Two people have been arrested and more are believed to be on the run after authorities discovered a suspected illegal fishing boat in Queensland.
Locals have begun cleaning up debris from the boat which has washed up on shore while a large amount of diesel can also be seen in the water around the mostly-submerged vessel.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, whose electorate covers the area where the boat arrived, dismissed the speculation and instead said he believed the crew were illegally fishing in the area when they ran into trouble.
According to David White, a tour operator who has been guiding people through the Daintree River for 20 years, there is little risk of harm to the missing two who have fled-unless they enter the water.
"We will work with the agencies to make sure we can repatriate these people back to their country of origin, once we understand the facts of the matter".
"We have thriving croc spotting operations all up and down the river", Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu told AAP on Monday.
"The unknown thing is did they actually end up going through the mangroves".
The department did not respond to questions of whether the vessel found off Cape Kimberley was carrying asylum-seekers, illegal migrants or fishermen.
White House flag returns to full-staff after McCain’s death, angering Twitter
John McCain by raising its flags to full-staff, President Trump has ordered the White House to re-lower its flags to half-staff . He also served in the House and in the Navy, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam and ran for president twice.
Most asylum-seeker boats that have arrived in Australia in recent years embarked from Indonesia, though some originated in Sri Lanka.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson suggested those on the boat may have headed for Australia as a result of last week's leadership crisis in Canberra.
"Because the eye was off the ball last week, and the news would have happened that Malcolm Turnbull was no longer prime minister, that these people would have got on a boat to come across to Australia", she told the Seven Network today.
Under its tough immigration policy, asylum seekers who try to get to Australia by boat are either turned back or sent to remote Pacific camps where conditions have been criticised.
Nine News reports the captured have since been treated by paramedics for fever and chills and transported to Cairns.
MP George Christensen called for better border protection in his home state after the news emerged.
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 15 passengers had been found so far.
"Australia has received the first people-smuggling venture in over 1,400 days", he said on August 27, SBS reported.