FANS of Willem Powerfish have flooded the prankster’s social media account with words of support after learning he is facing a maximum penalty of a $1m fine or seven years in jail for a YouTube stunt.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, was charged after allegedly sinking a car and boat in Tweed River in November 2019.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video.
Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video.

The keen angler has more than 740,000 followers collectively on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and those fans have backed their online mate when asked by the Bulletin.

Willy Pea posted: “Should be Australian of the year.”

Louisa Kitchener said: “Leave him alone he’s doing more for the community then the local politicians are. He donates to charities and it’s thousands not pennies, I’m sure he understands now the gravity of the situation, but at the time he was trying to be funny, the dog. Leave him be, he’s paying his dues by constantly contributing to the wider community from the sales of his own personal merchandise.”

And Sam Madden said: “A lot of people quick to judge him, how bout looking at all the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars he has donated to people and charities.”

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Ungermann has donated about $30,000 dollars he has earned through selling merchandise to the disadvantaged in the past few days.

Most of Willem's income is generated by his Powerfish merchandise. He said without his fans he wouldn't be able to help others doing it tough.
Most of Willem's income is generated by his Powerfish merchandise. He said without his fans he wouldn't be able to help others doing it tough.

Last week the 35-year-old donated more than $15,000 in cash and toys to Tweed charity You Have a Friend.

On Tuesday he visited Sunnyside Butchers in Tweed City and bought the entire stock which cost about $4600.

He encouraged those doing it tough to head to the butcher and stock up on food for the festive season.

On the same day, he donated $10,000 cash to non-profit organisation Kalwun Health Service.

The medical clinic provides support and services to the indigenous community.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video.
Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video.

The internet sensation apologised to his fans in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon for alleged boat ramp incident.

“All I have ever wanted to do is give people a laugh and I should have thought about my actions before performing them,” he said.

“I also want to thank you for all the support throughout this whole ongoing journey of the 3m flatty (flathead).”

Willem Powerfish apologised to his fans in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon for alleged boat ramp incident.
Willem Powerfish apologised to his fans in a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon for alleged boat ramp incident.

HOW THE SAGA STARTED

A SOCIAL media prankster faces a maximum penalty of a $1m fine or seven years in jail for sinking a car and boat trailer in a river during a YouTube video.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, has more than 740,000 followers collectively on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video. Instagram: Willem — Powerfish
Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, will face Tweed Court this month after being charged by police while filming a YouTube video. Instagram: Willem — Powerfish

His videos involve pranking fishermen in the Tweed, casting a fishing rod with a whole chook on the end and dressing in skin-tight Lycra. He is also known for donating money he has earned through selling merchandise to disadvantaged families.

Last week Ungermann, 35, donated more than $15,000 in cash and toys to Tweed charity You Have a Friend.

Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, recently donated more than $15,000 in cash and toys to Tweed homelessness charity You Have a Friend.
Willem Ian Ungermann, also known as Willem Powerfish, recently donated more than $15,000 in cash and toys to Tweed homelessness charity You Have a Friend.

But one of the Coolangatta man’s earlier pranks did not impress police. He was charged after reversing his car and boat trailer into Tweed River on November 20, 2019. It is alleged bystanders called police when he continuously jackknifed the car and trailer at the Fingal Rd boat ramp.

Police allege the “dangerous” stunt was filmed by a freelance videographer and later uploaded to Ungermann’s YouTube channel Willem Powerfish.

Willem Ungermann, aka Willem Powerfish faces five charges in Tweed Heads Local Court.
Willem Ungermann, aka Willem Powerfish faces five charges in Tweed Heads Local Court.

The four-minute video called Boat Ramp Session Vol 3 has 1.2 million views on Facebook and shows him jackknifing a boat trailer several times while a stressed-out bystander attempts to help.

It ends with Ungermann reversing the car at speed down the boat ramp and sinking the car and trailer into the river.

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While sitting in the sinking car, Ungermann said: “F--k I’ve done a mischief. I didn’t picture it like this. F--k me what a dog of a c--t. I love you Rex (Hunt).”

Court documents reveal Ungermann told police it wasn’t his intention to reverse into the river: “My gumboot slipped and I accidentally hit the accelerator.”

Ungermann pleaded guilty on September 28 in Tweed Heads Local Court to five charges including negligently disposing of waste causing harm to the environment, which carries a maximum penalty of a $1 million fine or seven years in jail.
Ungermann pleaded guilty on September 28 in Tweed Heads Local Court to five charges including negligently disposing of waste causing harm to the environment, which carries a maximum penalty of a $1 million fine or seven years in jail.

A Hazmat team was called to allegedly clean the fuel that had spilt in the river.

Police allege he showed no remorse.

Ungermann and defence lawyer Corey Cullen were contacted for comment.

He pleaded guilty on September 28 in Tweed Heads Local Court to five charges including negligently disposing of waste causing environmental harm, with a maximum fine of $1m or seven years’ jail. He returns for a December 21 for sentence.

jodie.callcott@news.com.au

Originally published as ‘Leave him alone’: Epic support for Coast prankster



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