Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Pirates ‘open fire’ on visitors at remote New Caledonian island

Pirates ‘open fire’ on visitors at remote New Caledonian island
July 2, 2019

A gang of pirates armed with rifles and swords or machetes has attacked a luxury yacht carrying tourists off New Caledonia, knocking the captain to the deck and looting the boat, according to reports.

Two Australian tourists and three guides were aboard a yacht exploring a coral atoll near Ouvéa, a remote isle favoured by cruise ships, when raiders approached their boat and opened fire.

As quoted by the Daily Mail, New Caledonia Public Prosecutor Alexis Bouroz advised “a boat from Ouvéa came to meet them with seven to eight people aboard, some of them apparently armed with guns and machetes.”

Bouroz explained that the attackers fired shots in the air and at the boat before five or six pirates boarded.

Tourists were only “lightly injured” but the skipper was hit in the face and knocked to the deck.

After that, the boat was reported to have been looted while one of its engines and its electronic equipment was destroyed.

While the attack has not made the news in much of the English-speaking world, reports have been carried by numerous French-language outlets, including Paris morning newspaper Le Figaro, the longest-established national daily in France.

Tahiti-infos.com reported that the pirates were brandishing “des fusils et de sabres“ (firearms and sabres, the latter possibly machetes).

The prosecutor said that the incident occurred Monday afternoon near Beautemps Beaupré Island, a coral atoll north west of Ouvéa.

Tahiti-infos.com advised “two Australian tourists and three companions came to observe the underwater world with a boat from a luxury yacht, the Masteka 2, which anchored further offshore.”

A boat from Ouvéa carrying pirates then intercepted the vessel.

The site quoted an officer on the boat, Vincent Ventrella. In a statement to French-language news agency Agence France-Presse, Ventrella said the attackers had apparently commandeered a local tourist excursion boat to launch the raid.

Ventrella advised that the planned tourist visit to the coral atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed tribal reserve, had been organised after a formal request to the traditional Kanak custodians.

Channel News Asia quoted New Caledonia’s tourism department condemning the violence, saying the attack targeted small-scale but high-yield tourism, the very type of tourism it was trying to encourage.

News outlets quoted a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) acknowledging it was “aware of media reports that a number of Australians were involved in an incident in New Caledonia” adding: “We stand ready to offer consular assistance.”

New Caledonian authorities have reportedly identified the main suspect and issued an arrest warrant for aggravated violence, theft with violence and intimidatory behaviour endangering the public.

In a statement, the President of New Caledonia’s southern province, Sonia Backés, strongly condemned the aggression, which she said was “highly detrimental to tourism activities.”

Image shows the island of Ouvéa.

Related Articles

7th March 2019 - Concerns over oil spill impact on Solomon Islands’ World Heritage sites

30th August 2017 - SPTO delivers tourism business training in New Caledonia

18th April 2017 - World Heritage sites threatened by crime

31st July 2015 - Pacific tourism sees increase in visitor arrivals

24th April 2015 - Fire damaged Splash Planet Pirate Ship to be replaced

31st July 2014 - New Caledonia creates world’s largest nature reserve

10th September 2013 - Newmarket Pool awaits a pirate invasion

4th September 2013 - Tourism must pay its dues to the environment


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Vticket

Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Ecoline

Ecoline is a highly experienced and skilled company that offers world-first technology in safety, protects the environment and provides a unique and challenging custom-made adventure and educational…

read more

Attractions / Environment / Safety / Tourism

 
 

METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

Also at 3 Squill Place, Arndell Park NSW 2148 ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 

LEISURE CONCEPTS AUSTRALIA

Leisure Concepts brings the world’s best fitness equipment brands to Australasia including Eleiko, Atlantis Strength and Merrithew Pilates. With a huge variety of  treadmills,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Mattioli

Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety

 
 

Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business