Stolen Tour Boat Ends Up in Kangaroo Point After Alleged Joyride

River City Cruises Kangaroo Point
Photo Credit: River City Cruises

A river tour ferry was discovered lodged on the rocks at Kangaroo Point, with police investigating reports the vessel was stolen from South Bank overnight whilst people were partying on board.

Police confirmed they were investigating an overnight break and enter on a commercial vessel at South Bank. The police statement said initial information indicated unknown offenders had forced entry to the vessel and stolen items from onboard. It is believed the engine was started and the vessel left its berth. 

The engine then failed, and the vessel drifted towards the ferry terminal near Ferry Street, Kangaroo Point, where it rested in the morning.  

Owner’s Account

Lindsay Jones, the owner of River Tours ferry MV Neptune, believed his ferry, operated as a charter boat on the Brisbane River since 1966, had been broken into overnight. He said the other vessel next to theirs was also broken into, but it was harder to get into and was much better locked up than theirs. 

Mr Jones said they were waiting on the tide to rise to dislodge the boat from the rocks, as the engines would be burnt out without the water coolant.

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The MV Neptune is usually moored at the Cultural Centre public pontoon in South Bank and offers sightseeing, onboard lunch packages and sunset cruises for passengers. The cruise line has won the Travellers Choice award and best of Queensland experience in 2023.

Impact on Operations

River City Cruises posted a statement on its website, saying the boat had been severely damaged and was currently out of operation due to unforeseen circumstances. No cruises would depart until further notice.

Photo Credit: River City Cruises

The statement said several staff members and crew were at the scene, and the owner, Jones, was uncertain when operations would resume as he awaited assessing the damage. It said the MV Neptune would be towed later that day and transported to a repair shop.

Eyewitness Reports  

It was understood three men were seen at the dockside terminal, with one man yelling he would never be caught and that he had been up all night running at a group of people. A River City Cruises worker reported they had thrown books, opened the alcohol cabinet, and helped themselves to snacks. 

Debris and a broken railing from the side of the boat were visible on the ship’s top deck after it had smashed into glass windows along the dockside terminal. The anchor was seen dangling from the front of the boat, with the chain coiled outwards.

A local resident said he saw the boat travelling along the river overnight with what seemed to be a party onboard. He said he saw it going downstream, close along the marina’s edge. He wondered what it was doing at the time because the boat and route seemed unusual.  

Published 12-June-2024