LATEST @ 2.45 PM | A major investigation is unfolding on the Gold Coast after a shocking arson attack at Hope Island’s luxury Hope Harbour Marina.
The suspicious blaze, which destroyed three boats and significantly damaged another two, is believed to have caused well in excess of $1 million worth of damage.
The horror scenes unfolded around 11.15pm on Tuesday, with a manhunt now underway to find two men believed to be responsible.
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Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said one of the men was seen throwing “some sort of incendiary device” onto one of the vessels after scaling a fence to get into the marina, before fleeing.
“It’s extremely dramatic… the prospect of throwing what we believe is some sort of incendiary device that has caused the vessel to ignite is extremely concerning, and as a result we’ve seen quite significant property damage,” he said.
“We believe the circumstances of this event to be arson and suspicious and we urge anyone who saw anything suspicious to urgently come forward and contact police.”
Thankfully no one was on board any of the boats when they erupted into flames, with police declaring it as “very lucky”.
“It’s just very fortunate that no one was on the vessels at the time,” Detective Inspector Ahearn said.
He did however reveal that two of the boats that were destroyed in the inferno have since sunk, with police divers now called in.
“We have two vessels that have submerged and we have police divers who are going to be going down and conducting an examination of those vessels that are on the sea floor.”
Police say one of the men is described as Caucasian, heavy set with a ‘beer gut’ and long dark hair.
The second man has only been described as wearing a maroon hoodie that was pulled up over his head.
Investigations are continuing and anyone with information is being urged to come forward.
Additional reporting by Shanee Dobeson.
EARLIER @ 5.30 AM | THE hunt is on for two people believed to be responsible for the destruction of five boats on the Gold Coast.
Police and emergency services were called to Hope Harbour Marina around 11.15pm on Tuesday night, finding five boats well alight.
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Two people were seen throwing petrol onto one of the boats before setting it alight, the flames quickly spreading to four nearby.
Thankfully, nobody was injured during the incident.
Detectives are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area between 10.30pm and 11.30pm to come forward.
You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.