River vandals risking lives
VANDALS who smashed lights on navigation buoys in the Burnett River may be endangering lives.
Maritime Safety Queensland Regional Harbour Master John Fallon said two buoy lights marking critical navigation points in the river were damaged, possibly over the weekend.
One buoy is positioned upstream of the new Fairymead boat ramp while the other is downstream of the Kirbys Road boat ramp.
Captain Fallon said damaging the navigation lights was just as serious as targeting traffic lights.
"That's why there are very heavy penalties for unlawfully interfering with navigation aids," he said.
"The maximum penalty is almost $60,000 or one year's jail but if it results in injury or death the penalty can be more than $500,000 or two years' jail."
Captain Fallon said water police had been contacted and he understood they would be stepping up patrols.
"I would encourage anyone seeing this kind of malicious damage taking place, or who has knowledge of the matter, to report it to either Maritime Safety Queensland or the police."
The lights were immediately replaced when the damage was discovered at a cost of about $600 each.