By Clare Hunter and Camille Bianchi
Gold Coast boaties and surfers blame each other and the State government for the fatal collision of a surfer and boat in Currumbin Alley on the weekend.
Forty-two-year-old Richard King died when a boat coming into the bar ran over him.
Locals say the tragedy was ‘waiting to happen’
According to Member for Currumbin Jan Stuckey, the State Government should have acted earlier.
“For many years we have been saying that this is simply an accident waiting to happen and the State Government for years has (ignored) its responsibility in clearing a safe passage through Currumbin Bar,” she said.
Volunteer Marine Rescue Association members have been calling for a “boats only” channel into the river for years.
Boaties are frustrated with the lack of awareness surfers have for the vessels.
“What I would like to see is a designated channel for the boaties and for the surfers to respect that and the
boaties to respect the surfers… we (the boats) are ignored,” Peter Saunders said.
Ms Stuckey agreed.
“The State Government should act to dredge the area, before another death occurs… they (the State Government) need to get their head out of the sand,” she said.
Acting Chief Lifeguard Peter Miller called the multi-use area ‘dangerous’, but said surfers should be aware of the risks.
“If you choose to ride a skateboard onto the road… you know there’s a risk (of being hit)”, he said.
Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure Minister Craig Wallace is awaiting the outcome of a police investigation into the incident, before he will comment on the issue.