Torched 4WD sparks angler calls for carpark CCTV protection
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.”