Idiots stone river boat

A GROUP Christmas Party on the Tweed River turned to horror for a cruise boat's passengers and staff when car loads of hooligans hurled a volley of rocks onto the vessel. One staff member washing at a sink more than a metre from an open window was hit on the head by a rock larger than a golf ball and left slightly concussed during the attack on Saturday night. A passenger on the boat, the Golden Swan, was hit in the side. Yesterday the stunned owner of Tweed Endeavour Cruises Scott Petersen was amazed no-one had been more seriously hurt. Incredibly, the stupid and dangerous attack came just a day after Sydney rock-throwing victim 22-year-old Nicole Miller broke down in court as she explained how her carefree life was destroyed by another senseless act of rock-throwing that smashed the rear window of a car she was in - and her skull. Peter Lachlan Hodgkins, 26, has pleaded guilty to that rock attack in July but has yet to be sentenced. Mr Petersen warned someone could have been killed in Saturday night's Tweed River attack, and his skippers would now have to forsake safer waters by staying further out. Mr Petersen said the cruises generally keep close to shore for safety, and because "some of the river channels are pretty much near the bank". He said staff saw "four to five car loads' of young people "come flying down the spit at Oxley Cove" as the Golden Swan prepared to leave the cove about 9.30pm. "They waited for the boat to come back out and bombarded the boat with rocks," he said. "There were about 15 to 20 people all about 18 to 22." Mr Petersen said staff and passengers were able to note two of the number plates, but when the youths apparently realised the plates were under scrutiny they turned headlights on high beam and moved the cars to prevent the plates being read. "They were idiots. These rocks were thrown with extreme malice and they were thrown hard," Mr Petersen said. Saturday night's attack was the worst in the 10 years Mr Petersen has been running the business. The incident was immediately reported to police by a police liaison officer who was one of the partying group. Yesterday Tweed Heads police were continuing investigations.



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