Footage released of dramatic high-sea response to alleged violence at sea incident

Two men from Taiwan have been disembarked from a bulk carrier they were employed to work on, following a dramatic high-seas response off the coast of Gladstone, Queensland.

The operation can be seen from the air and from the sea in vision released today.

ABF Queensland Regional Commander Chris Waters said the unusual event demonstrates the effective and critical working relationship between the agencies involved.

“The ABF is focused on keeping Australia safe – and this can take many forms. It includes playing our part to ensure Australian waters remain safe, and that we work closely with other agencies to ensure safety at sea,” Regional Commander Waters said.

The incident began on 29 June when the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) within the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) received a request for help from the Master of a bulk carrier heading to Taiwan from Newcastle laden with coal.

Crew on board the Taiwanese-registered carrier claimed the two crew members were acting in a threatening way, damaging property and physically assaulting others.

The vessel was immediately diverted towards the vicinity of Gladstone to enable the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) to respond.

On 30 June two officers from the QPS and another two from the ABF travelled aboard Police Vessel D.W Wrembeck to the vessel near North Reef approximately 53 nautical miles north-east of Gladstone. They were supported by the AMSA Challenger jet which provided aerial support.

The two Taiwanese men were removed from the vessel without incident and transferred back to Gladstone Port.

The Master declined to press charges against the two men who will instead be repatriated to Taiwan as soon as possible.

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