Boat in danger at the bridge
TWEED pleasure craft operators are worried someone will be killed by youths bombarding boats with rocks as they pass under bridges.
Their fears were highlighted last week when a houseboat and a tourist cruise boat were hit by a rain of rocks thrown from Boyd's Bay and Barney's Point bridges.
In one of the incidents, 50 tourists aboard a Tweed Endeavour Cruise boat were terrorised when their craft was hit by about 30 large rocks each time they passed under the Barney's Point Bridge.
Tweed Endeavour manager Scott Petersen said the rocks punctured holes in a thick aluminium roof under which passengers were standing and smashed a railing.
He said passengers were understandably frightened and one of them ? a mother with a small baby ? asked to be put ashore at Chinderah rather than risk a second attack.
Mr Petersen said although no passengers were injured it may have been a different story if they had been aboard the company's second boat which was protected by only a canvas awning.
"The rocks were big- ger than tennis balls and would have probably gone straight through the canvas," he said.
"Unless this stupid behaviour is stopped it will only be a matter of time before someone is killed or badly injured."
His concerns were echoed by Boyd's Bay Houseboats owner Michelle Day after one of her boats was attacked last Tuesday, smashing an anchor light on the roof.
She said although tourist boats were attacked, she was sure they were not the only boats targeted.
Ms Day and Mr Scott said other boaties had reported a recent incident where a large rock had been suspended from a rope beneath the Terranora Bridge.
"The rock was suspended just above the water so that it would damage any boat which hit it," she said.
"It was impossible to see until you were virtually on top of it." Both operators have appealed to the public to watch for any suspicious behaviour on bridges.
"People should get a description of anyone who looks as though they are involved in this practice and report it to police," Ms Day said.