A millionaire who escaped Victoria’s tough coronavirus lockdown by sailing all the way to the Gold Coast on a luxury super-yacht has now been charged over the controversial trip.
The yacht set sail from Melbourne with construction magnate Mark Simonds and his family on board and made several stops along the east coast before arriving in Coomera on August 24.
The six people on board the multi-million dollar Lady Pamela yacht were initially granted an exemption to travel into the state to have repair works done on the yacht, providing they spent the 14-day quarantine period at sea.
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However, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer revoked their exemption following widespread outrage from the community and after learning they had docked several times in New South Wales.
The group were instead ordered into hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast at their own expense.
Following investigations into the trip, NSW police confirmed overnight that they have now issued Penalty Infringement Notices to everyone on board.
“Nine PINs have been issued after crew members and passengers on board a vessel travelling along the NSW coast from Victoria disembarked onto NSW soil, contrary to current Public Health Orders,” police said in a statement
“On 25 August, NSW Police launched an investigation into the movements of a vessel, which was travelling from Victoria to the Gold Coast, while it was in NSW waters.
“Inquiries revealed three occasions in which individuals had disembarked the vessel in contravention of the Public Health Order – at Eden on Wednesday 12 August, Port Stephens on Sunday 16 August and Yamba on Friday 21 August.”
The 61-year-old owner of the yacht was given two $1000 fines for failing to comply with the Public Health Order, while the rest of his family and a crew member were each issued with $1000 PINs.
The 64-year-old skipper of the vessel was issued with three $1000 fines by NSW police and has also been issued with a notice to appear in Southport Magistrates Court next month by Queensland Police for providing false information to an emergency officer.