Tassie trailer tampering trouble

TASMANIAN fishers have warned a spate of incidents of trailer tampering at boat ramps around the state has the potential to injure or kill someone.

According to this report from the ABC, the warnings come as Police investigate an incident in which a boat trailer came loose on the Arthur Highway on Sunday, following reports it had been deliberately detached.

Mark Watson from Geilston Bay said the incident happened after he used the Eaglehawk Neck boat ramp, and that it was lucky no-one had been killed.

“If the safety chain hadn’t held, I would have had a boat going down the hill on a tandem trailer out of control,” he said.

“Just say two cars [were] coming up the hill – I don’t think I’d like to be in that situation and be involved in anything like that, it’s just too scary.”

Police are investigating an incident in which a boat trailer came loose on a highway, following reports it had been deliberately detached.

Mr Watson was sure someone had deliberately uncoupled the trailer from his car while it was parked at the boat ramp.

“There’s no way known the way that I hook it up, and the connection I use, can come undone,” he said.

“It’s actually got a lock to it, so someone actually tampered with the trailer and lifted up the locking mechanism on the coupling on the trailer and consequently it comes off your tow ball.”

Mr Watson said it was not an isolated incident.

“People have had their trailers tampered with down there a fair bit in the last 18 months,” he said.

“I know through being a member of the Tuna Club last year, a fisherman that fishes at Eaglehawk Neck from St Helens had his car vandalised, and I know of other people that have had their cars written on, people that have had their wheel nuts taken off their boat trailers.

President of the Tuna Club of Tasmania John Edwards said he had heard reports of similar tampering at Burnie in the state’s north-west, George Town north of Launceston and at St Helens on the East Coast.

He said he did not know why vandals were targeting boat trailers.

“I think it’s just a senseless act of stupidity, designed to cause damage but also, I think, the potential to obviously kill someone on the road,” he said.

The Tuna Club and a local neighbourhood watch group have installed CCTV cameras at the Eaglehawk Neck and Blowhole boat ramps.

Mr Edwards advised boat owners to check trailer hitches before moving their boats, and to consider buying trailer locking mechanisms and dashboard cameras.

“We also encourage people to park their boats and their boat trailers in a conspicuous manner rather than backing them into parking spots – to drive them in so the tow hitches are visible to the road and to passersby,” he said.


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