Captain of controversial superyacht charged by police
THE captain of the Lady Pamela has been charged by Queensland Police.
The multimillion-dollar yacht, which set sail from Melbourne carrying millionaire mogul Mark Simonds and his family, had been under investigation over a 15-day jaunt along the eastern coast of Australia, before arriving at the Gold Coast City Marina at Coomera on Monday, August 24.
The yacht reportedly left Melbourne on August 9 with Mr Simonds' wife Cheryl, their youngest son, and Hannah Fox, daughter of Linfox executive chairman Peter Fox, on-board.
The yacht and its seven occupants were initially granted a travel exemption to come to the marina to have the vessel serviced.
However, chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young revoked the exemptions following community outrage, forcing Mr Simonds, the executive director of the ASX-listed Simonds Group, and the other occupants into hotel quarantine. They are believed to be staying at QT Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise.
The captain has been issued a notice to appear in Southport Magistrates Court, under section 363 of the public health act, which translates to making a false declaration to Queensland Health.
Police will allege the captain gave false information about not leaving the yacht in New South Wales, when he had actually left the yacht.
It's understood the captain and the other occupants of the boat are under investigation by New South Wales Police and could face further charges.
Days after the yacht docked in Coomera, Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said: "No one is above the law, no one should feel so entitled they can just break the rules and make their way in," he said late last month.
"At 9am on August 24 the Lady Pamela arrived at Coomera. It had seven people on board and it's alleged it travelled from Victoria via NSW. The occupants were given a chief health officer's exemption on August 20, 2020 to enter Queensland, but that was under strict conditions," Supt Wheeler said.
"On August 25 the chief health officer revoked the exemption and the occupants were placed into hotel quarantine here on the Gold Coast. So Gold Coast District Police last night attended that marina and took those people into self-funded quarantine."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was "disgusted" by the allegations.
"I am disgusted about it, and now there is a criminal investigation because it puts the community at risk," she said.
Originally published as Captain of controversial superyacht charged by police