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MORGAN made national news
this week following a bizarre attempt
by eight men to commandeer a
houseboat from the popular tourist
town over the long weekend.
News of the group's short-lived voyage
along the Murray -- which was cut short
by the arrival of the houseboat fleet's
manager, his mates and German Shep-
herd in a tinny -- has been a sensation
across South Australian and interstate
Foxtale Houseboats manager Jodie
Butson said she received a call from a
good Samaritan on Sunday night about
7.30pm informing her that one of their
boats had been boarded at Morgan Cara-
"I was in Adelaide and took the call
from a guy at the caravan park, saying to
me, 'Do you have a houseboat on the river
bank?'," she said.
"Sometimes we get clients to unload
there because we're doing some work out
where we are.
"The man said people had already un-
loaded and the guy had seen them do that
and he then saw a guy with an esky get on
board and take off with it.
"I had to ask him a few times, 'Are you
sure, are you sure?'... but then once I got
the registration number and realised it
was one of ours I contacted Michael."
Mr Butson then leapt into action,
gathering a bunch of his mates into a
tinny and pursuing the stolen $500,000
houseboat upstream where they eventu-
ally caught up with it near Cadell.
"The guys got on there, rounded them
up onto the back deck and kept them
there until they could meet up with the
police," Mrs Butson said.
"Michael had one of our (German)
shepherds with him too but I think they
had pretty much figured they had done as
much as they could do."
Mrs Butson said she recalled no simi-
lar crimes occurring in the region.
"It's pretty odd because you're either
going to run out of fuel or we'll find you.
"The other houseboat (operators)
rang and were gobsmacked because it's
"You're in the Riverland, in the coun-
try, you just don't expect that sort of thing
Mrs Butson said it was typical of the
Riverland that someone had spotted odd
behaviour and reported it.
"We were very lucky someone had told
us," she said.
"We keep an eye on our boats... but
you only need to not keep an eye on it for
half an hour.
"It was just before Michael got down
there to bring it back for the night too.
"I don't know who the good Samaritan
was but I thank them very much.
"It really was quite stressful."
Mrs Butson also thanked local police
for their efforts in quickly attending to
An SA Police spokesperson said eight
men -- all aged in their 20s and 30s -- have
been reported for unlawful use of a vessel
and will appear in court at a later date.
Houseboat hoons busted
Our fries join the fght
RIVERLAND West firefighters were
among those protesting changes to the
emergency services sector at a rally in front
of Parliament House yesterday afternoon.
Local volunteers attended the rally to
help launch a petition against State Gov-
ernment changes which would see the
SES, CFS and MFS amalgamate into one
Five mates, a tinny and a German shepherd make national news...
Be alert, but no need to be alarmed: SAPOL
RIVERLANDERS are being told
to remain "alert but not alarmed",
following last week's decision to
raise the terrorism threat level for
South Australian police from 'medium'
SA Police Assistant Commissioner
Bryan Fahy said the rise was a matter
of "formally aligning the threat level
for police to the general terrorism
threat level", which was also raised to
'high' in September last year.
However, Murray Mallee Local
Service Area Superintendent James
Blandford advised locals not to be
alarmed. "There are definitely no specif-
ic threats in Australia against the police
or against the community," he added.
Thursday 29th January.
Lutheran Hall 3.30---5.00pm
First week "Come and Try"
- Jazz/Modern - Hip Hop
- Musical Theatre Production
-Tap - Fairy Dance
Enquiries Carole Walker
85 414100 or 0417 414102
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