||03-12-2006 10:35 AM
Visitors to Gold Coast beware
My vessel has several thousand dollars worth of damage to the paint work on the hull after being hit by a hire houseboat. The hire houseboat companyís insurance company is refusing to pay for the damaged caused by the hire houseboat claiming it was an act of god that caused the damage.
Well, I am here to tell you that God was not onboard and did not anchor the hire houseboat the night it dragged anchor and hit my vessel.
The hire houseboat is classed as a commercial vessel and under marine legislation the incident must be reported to a Shipping Inspector within 48 hours, but due to privacy laws I can not find out if the hire houseboat company reported the incident, nor can I find out the name of the person who hired the houseboat. We reported this incident to the Water Police and Maritime Safety Queensland. Without the name of the person who was in charge of the hire houseboat at the time, my insurance company will charge me the excess on the policy and because they cannot recover the money for the claim my policy will increase next year, therefore I am severely out of pocket for something that was not my fault.
How can the hire boat company get away with this when they hire 20m, 2 story, 30 ton houseboats to inexperienced, unlicensed drivers who donít know how to anchor a vessel of this size when there is a wind warning current. We have to have a licence for our vessel, so how come you donít have to have a licence to hire a semi-trailer on water.
How many super yachts do you think the Gold Coast is going to attract when they find out that hire houseboat companies will not pay for damages caused by their hire fleets?