Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mystery diver causes stir in Australian port

Reported here:
VICTORIA police were placed on security alert today as a mystery diver swam near the Spirit of Tasmania, triggering an evacuation of a Port Melbourne pier.

The scare occurred just four days before the opening of Melbourne's Commonwealth Games, in which organisers have stepped up the monitoring of terrorist threats.
A Victoria Police spokesman said an unknown diver was spotted about 3.50pm AEDT swimming near Station Pier.

Water Police and a search and rescue squad were called in to investigate the "security incident", police said.

The Spirit of Tasmania, the ferry travelling between Melbourne and Devonport in north Tasmania, was searched by Australian Federal Police (AFP) as well, Christina Koullas, the ferry's spokeswoman, said.

People near Station Pier were evacuated as police swept through the ferry and a neighbouring ship, the Saga Rose.

"It was a security precaution that was undertaken after the diver was seen in the water," the police spokesman said.

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