Liquor license breaches aboard Sydney ship

·2-min read

A Sydney party ship has been referred to the alcohol and gaming regulator after police found violence, drug use and liquor license breaches aboard the boat.

Marketed as "Sydney's ultimate party boat", the MV John Cadman III has been ordered by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority to close from Christmas Eve to December 27.

NSW Police have been called to respond to drunk and violent behaviour on the boat eight times over three months.

When undercover officers attended a ticketed event and observed serious liquor license breaches, police referred the matter to the authority which determined that the lack of compliance posed an ongoing risk to public health and safety.

Director of the authority's secretariat, Dr Rochelle Hurst, said police watched extremely intoxicated and unconscious passengers, some vomiting on the floor and being carried off the boat unable to stand as well as physical assaults and evidence of drug use.

"In a particularly serious incident in October, a patron was knocked unconscious on the dancefloor and woke up in a room on the ship with a cracked tooth, a broken nose and a bleeding mouth," Dr Hurst said.

"The vessel's staff waited for the end of the four-hour trip to bundle the injured man into an Uber and sent him home without recording the incident or making a police report."

The MV John Cadman III has a 377-person capacity and operates a dozen nightclub-style events each year.

Dr Hurst said there was a lack of compliance with "fundamental legal obligations such as liquor trading hours" and responsible service of alcohol aboard the three level boat.

"Police resources were directed at this vessel so frequently that they undertook an operation and arrested three people for possession of prohibited drugs," Dr Hurst said.

"The operation confirmed the licensee did not have adequate systems and protocols in place to ensure compliance with the Liquor Act, which in effect creates a high-risk environment for everyone involved."

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