An Australian navy ship assisted an asylum seeker boat with 139 passengers overnight.
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare reported on Wednesday that the boat, north-north-west of Christmas Island, had requested assistance.
The HMAS Wollongong responded to the call.
Those on board the boat will be taken to Christmas Island for initial security, health and identity checks.
Mr Clare warned that any asylum seekers arriving by boat risked being transferred to a regional processing country.