O'Regans Wharf and St Omer Wharf (at back), and the vessels
which moor there, are seemingly irresistible to intoxicated
people in the early hours of the morning. Photo by
A Queenstown Bay skipper is asking the drunks who
unlawfully board his luxury boat an estimated four times a week
to remember the boat is not their property.
The intruders leave anything from burger wrappers to condoms
Pacific Jemm skipper Blair Payne said while the issue
was not a new one, he wanted those caught to be prosecuted,
rather than given warnings.
Mr Payne said the boat had signs warning people to keep off
''but this seems to be more of a trophy than a deterrent
because they keep getting stolen''.
On the past three occasions, people had left personal items
such as wallets and cellphones on the boat.
''The fact is that a lot of people think it's tourists, but
on the several occasions that we have caught people they have
actually been locals, which is disappointing.''
Pacific Jemm was the owners' holiday home when they
were in the resort, and ''this is breaking into a person's
home and a warning doesn't cut it''.
Mr Payne said they tried winching the boat a couple of metres
away from the wharf but people walked across the ropes.
About a year ago, a person fell off the boat ramp while
attempting to get on the boat and suffered severe facial
In 2012, a group of young Englishmen who were caught
defecating on the TSS Earnslaw were given diversion.
Southern Discoveries' Spirit of Queenstown, which is
moored alongside Pacific Jemm, has also been targeted
by intoxicated revellers. The boat arrived in Queenstown in
August and the company's operations manager, Douglas Keith,
said bottles had been thrown at the boat in the past three
Fortunately, the damage - scratches to the glass windows -
was barely noticeable.
Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said the
company was at loss as to what to do. The only solution would
be to close the wharf by installing a wire fence but the
company was reluctant to see that happen.
''The last thing you want is to see a wire gate closing off
the wharf,'' Mr Robson said.
Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, said a
commercial boat operator in Queenstown Bay complained to
police on Tuesday evening about people ''constantly''
Extra police surveillance was sought. However, Snr Const
Blackford said it was up to the operators ''to take some
preventive measures of their own''.
The owners of The Luanda Experience and Million
Dollar Cruise, also berthed at Queenstown Wharf, said it
was not an issue for them.
The owner of Clearwater Fishing declined to comment.