As a rickety wooden boat carrying Rohingya refugees approached the shores of western Indonesia, several desperate men swam ashore to plead that the vessel be allowed to land after weeks at sea.

But the calls of the men — some of whom collapsed to the sand in exhaustion — fell on deaf ears.

Local communities twice prevented the vessel packed with 256 Rohingya, heavily persecuted in Myanmar, from landing before it finally reached the shore on Sunday.