Just under a month ago, residents of Belmont, on Lake Macquarie, south of Newcastle, witnessed a strange sight on the town’s main street – which also happens to be the Pacific Highway.
A bloke on a motor scooter, cigarette in one hand, was towing his 17-foot boat down the main drag to pop it in the lake.
Shane Swanscott had just finished fixing up his 4.3m Stacer with a Yamaha 70hp and was ready to hit the water, but had a problem.
He’d lost his licence and wasn’t due to get it back until Christmas. He was thinking about pushing the boat down to the water when he had a better idea.
So on Friday, October 19, having welded up a homemade towbar to the back of a mobility scooter, he took off with his tinnie hooked up behind.
Swanscott was waiting to turn right at the lights when a Police Highway Patrol car went past, and officers did a double take and then a U-turn.
He never got the boat in the water. But photos of his adventure, taken by passing motorists, turned Swanscott into a viral celebrity.
And after a month-long investigation, police this week announced that they’d charged a 35–year-old man with several traffic offences, including driving whilst disqualified, using an unregistered vehicle on road, using an uninsured vehicle on road, and using an unregistered trailer on road.
He’ll appear in Belmont Local Court on 9 January, 2019.
Ten days ago, Swanscott’s partner Kiera put the tinnie on a boat sales website for $6000 ono, saying the 4.3m Stacer “comes with rego ready trailer and blown mobility scooter with a jacked up rear end and custom tow ball”.
“Very regretful sale as I have lost my license and it’s difficult to get it to the water. Pick up Belmont,” it concludes.
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