That's a bad way to end a year...
A rather bizarre incident took place last Saturday on a ferry between Fraser Island and the mainland when what seems to be an old Toyota Land Cruiser simply rolled off the Manta Ray barge ramp into the water. As luck would have it, the ramp was down at that time, so there was nothing to stop the vehicle from its immersion into the water.
Thankfully, no one was inside the car at that moment, so there weren’t any injuries reported. However, the rented SUV was packed with valuables, from debit cards and phones to passports and other precious items, so suffice it to say, the tourists had a pretty awful New Year’s Eve.
According to Katrina Lawrence, a tourists who was aboard the ferry at that time, the barge staff did not intervene at all, except for one “quite cranky” member who told everyone to calm down. She went on to specify the incident happened at around 11 A.M. and that in just half a minute the Land Cruiser was sleeping with the fishes. Someone on a jet ski along with several boats rushed over, but it was too late.
Chlöe Swift, another eyewitness, said the following:
Soon after the old SUV went swimming, the barge turned around to Inskip Point and all of the remaining vehicles on it were moved onto another barge.
Manta Ray Fraser Island Barges spokeswoman has announced an internal investigation has been initiated to find out what happened. The ferry was in motion at that time, so the ramp should have been up in order to prevent such accidents from happening. Also, the incident should serve as a reminder for everyone about the importance of checking the handbrake whenever getting out of a car and also leaving it in gear, especially when parking on an inclined terrain.