Violent threats land owner of unseaworthy tug in hot water

Wallaroo berthed in Sydney in 2017 (Photo: Wilson)

Anthony Roy Wolfe, the owner of Wallaroo – an unseaworthy, ex-navy tug – was convicted of hindering a Commonwealth public official in Cairns Magistrate Court on Tuesday, October 13.

Mr Wolfe was found guilty, with a conviction recorded on his criminal record for the next ten years and fined $750 for hindering an inspector from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The AMSA said the inspector was doing his duty, ensuring maritime safety by detaining the tug.

The inspection of Wallaroo in Brisbane revealed serious deficiencies with watertight hatches, defunct firefighting equipment, and no life raft on the vessel.

At the time, Mr Wolfe intended on using Wallaroo to transport shipping containers from Cairns to Papua New Guinea under a commercial arrangement.

In the interest of the safety of the people working on board the boat – including Mr Wolfe – and to protect the marine environment from a potential incident, Wallaroo was detained under the Navigation Act for unseaworthiness.

During the inspection, Mr Wolfe became aggressive and engaged in an expletive-laden tirade forcing the inspector off the vessel. He also hindered the inspector in the course of his duties.

General manager of operations Allan Schwartz said AMSA would not tolerate violence or threats of violence being made against staff. He also stated that it would not tolerate behaviour that hindered staff in undertaking their important duties.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.