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Criminal Suspect Attempts to Flee Australia Aboard a Bulker

Bulker at port of newcastle Port Authority of New South Wales
Image courtesy Port Authority of New South Wales

By The Maritime Executive 06-23-2020 08:59:02

A 31-year-old Australian man has been re-arrested after allegedly jumping bail and attempting to flee the country aboard a bulker.

At about 1030 hours on Saturday, a large Newcastle-bound vessel came to the assistance of a yacht that had run into trouble off the coast of Yamba, New South Wales. The ship's crew secured a tow line to bring the yacht to the Newcastle offshore anchorage. A 31-year-old man who had been onboard the yacht was taken into a cabin on board the bulk carrier.

As the large ship entered Newcastle at about 2100 hours the same day, the crew discovered that the tow line carrying the yacht had snapped – with the yacht lost in the process – and the 31-year-old man was missing. Officers from the Marine Area Command commenced an extensive search of the area that day, continuing into Sunday, but the man was not found. 

On Monday, when the ship anchored at Newcastle, NSW Police and Australian Border Force (ABC) officers conducted an extensive search on board. At about 1100 hours, officers located the  man inside an air-conditioning vent on board. An investigation revealed that the man was in breach of his bail over an alleged sexual assault charge, and he was arrested. During a search, officers located and seized $4,435 cash and a knife to undergo forensic examination.

The man was taken to Newcastle Police Station, where he was charged with breach of bail. Police will allege in court that he had deliberately cut the yacht's tow line and planned to hide on board the ship until it was due to depart Newcastle for Malaysia. The man was refused a renewal of his bail.