Brisbane’s Riverside complex has been put into lockdown today after a man tied his yacht to the jetty and threatened to harm himself.
Businesses in the vicinity were forced to close as Police initially thought explosives may have been involved.
Mitch Sabine reports.
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A 54-year-old man moored his yacht onto Brisbane’s Riverside dock this morning, disrupting CityCat services and forcing the closure of businesses on Eagle Street Pier.
The unidentified man contacted the police communications centre at around 5 o’clock threatening to hurt himself, leading to a siege situation in the city’s CBD.
Police responded by setting up a 100 metre exclusion zone.
Emergency services were immediately called in, and the area was flooded with Police on foot, bike, boat, along with units from the Special Emergency Response Team.
Inspector Shane Dall’Osto, Qld Police: “At this stage we have police negotiators talking with the man and we hope to have a peaceful resolution hopefully later today.”
Initial reports which suggested the man had explosives on board were untrue, instead he had a jerry can of fuel, a lighter, and a knife.
The man firstly appeared calm and relaxed, pacing the boat and playing guitar.
Shortly after he became agitated as the police presence increased, brandishing a knife on the boat’s deck and putting it to his throat, causing police to back off.
Mark Laughman, a friend of the man, says he is dealing with family issues and this may have caused the incident.
Mark Laughman, Friend: “I’m parked next to him on the marina and I’ve been talking with him about personal stuff over the last week or so and it’s apparently got a bit beyond him, bit of a cry for help but he’s an excellent bloke mate.”
Businesses in the complex were immediately evacuated, and weren’t allowed to trade all day.
Gemma May, Manager of Groove Train: “It has had a major impact, we’ve got reservations booked in for lunch and dinner this evening, a few functions tonight.”
The siege has now entered its seventh hour and police are no closer to resolving the issue. As yet, the man hasn’t given police a list of demands.
Mitch Sabine, QUT News.