Torched 4WD sparks an­gler calls for carpark CCTV pro­tec­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PEEL

A LO­CAL fish­er­man’s night was ru­ined when he re­turned to find his car had been set alight in a boat ramp carpark.

The in­ci­dent has sparked calls from fish­ing groups to have se­cu­rity cam­eras in­stalled at public boat ramps to mon­i­tor the ram­pant van­dal­ism of ve­hi­cles, boats and trail­ers. The man, who was fish­ing on Stoney Creek near Bush­land Beach, no­ticed a glow com­ing from the di­rec­tion of the carpark af­ter mid­night on Sun­day.

He re­turned to the boat ramp on Ma­rina Drive and found his 2001 Nissan Pa­trol en­gulfed in flames.

A fridge was also miss­ing from the rear of the ve­hi­cle.

Po­lice and fire­fight­ers re­sponded to the fish­er­man’s call to triple- 0 and the blaze was ex­tin­guished by 1.15am.

The ve­hi­cle and its con­tents were de­stroyed.

Dis­trict Duty Of­fi­cer Se­nior Sergeant Joe Mathe­son said the Pa­trol was the only ve­hi­cle parked at the boat ramp at the time.

“The car was parked in the dirt carpark near Bush­land Beach boat ramp and was se­cured and locked,” he said. “The owner then walked along a dirt track at about 10.30pm and was fish­ing on the river when he saw the glow.”

Townsville Sport­fish­ing Club pres­i­dent Graham Voy­sey said such in­ci­dents are al­ways a worry for an­glers and boat­ies and he had per­son­ally been the vic­tim in a case of boat ramp van­dal­ism.

“I was parked at the Na­tional Park boat ramp last year and some­one smashed a win­dow on my car,” he said.

“Luck­ily, they only stole some loose change from the con­sole. But you do of­ten see piles of glass in the carparks that shows it hap­pens to other peo­ple and you al­ways hear of dam­age and things go­ing miss­ing through­out Townsville and in Bush­land Beach.”

Mr Voy­sey said all boating fa­cil­ity carparks should be equipped with CCTV cam­eras, like at the new Townsville Recre­ational Boating Park at South Townsville.

“You should be able to park your ve­hi­cle and go fish­ing and ex­pect to see it in­tact and un­touched upon re­turn,” he said.

“A lot of peo­ple get their wives and part­ners to drop them at the boat ramp when they go fish­ing be­cause they don’t want to risk it.”

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