They stole my job
GREG Cook is just trying to earn a crust.
Working hard for the tourism industry, Mr Cook shows Fraser Coast visitors a good time when he takes them out on his fishing charters.
But the father of three was robbed of his livelihood when callous thieves boarded his boat over the weekend and helped themselves to $5000 worth of fishing equipment.
More than 30 reels, 22 rods, fishing knives, fuel tanks and flares were stolen.
“We had a booking that day so I had to ring our 11 tourists and tell them they couldn't go fishing because we'd been robbed,” he said. “They couldn't believe it. They said they thought Hervey Bay was a safe place to be.”
Mr Cook has a wife and three kids to support but has had to cancel bookings until he can restock.
“Sadly, even though I'm insured, the insurance company wants all original receipts for everything that was stolen, which is just impossible to do.
“It's going to take weeks to sort that out.”
The skipper wants to know what kind of heartless criminal would do such a thing.
“The boaties don't do this sort of thing to boaties, the fishos don't do this sort of thing to fishos, but someone's come and done it to me,” he said. “We think they've done it at night. They've broken straight into the cabin.
“They didn't make a mess. They just went through everything carefully so they knew what they were doing.”
His boat, Fighting Whiting, has been moored off Torquay for 21 years and has been broken into twice before.
“But nothing like this,” Mr Cook said.
“We've got a couple of leads and someone said they might've seen another boat casing it last week.
“Whoever did it untied one of the fenders we normally use for our tinny and moved it to the other side of the boat, where you can't see it from the shore.
“I think it's funny they used my fender to protect their boat while they were robbing me.
“They really are scum.”
Mr Cook has acquired some equipment from charitable friends but has had had to buy the rest, which quickly adds up in cost.
He wants to encourage the community to report any suspicious behaviour to police.
“Let's clean this place up and bring it back to the paradise it's meant to be.”
Anyone with information on the theft can call Hervey Bay police on 4123 8111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.