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In Australia, Weird Case of a Cargo Ship Stowaway

31-year-old allegedly planned to flee Australia
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2020 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – It was almost a great plan. Officials say a man who's the subject of an Australian sexual assault case hatched a plan to stow away on a ship that was bound for Malaysia—and he reportedly managed to successfully conceal himself for two days. CNN reports that on Saturday morning, a cargo ship headed for Newcastle, New South Wales, encountered a yacht that had run into trouble; it attached a towline to the boat and brought the 31-year-old who had been on it aboard. By evening the ship was nearly at Newcastle, but the man was nowhere to be found, and the yacht was no longer attached to the towline. An "extensive" search was carried out by water police through Sunday, reports the BBC, but the man wasn't found. On Monday, NSW Police and Australian Border Force officers used dogs to search the ship—and the man's hiding place was uncovered.

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Officials say he was found in an air-conditioning vent with just over $3,000 and a knife on him. He'd allegedly severed the line to his yacht, which police say he had originally planned to sail to an unknown destination before encountering trouble and being picked up by the cargo ship. "He attempted to sail east across the Pacific but got hit by some large seas ... [and] some strong winds he was incapable of sailing," said a rep for the NSW Police. He was charged with breach of bail and was set to have a court appearance Wednesday. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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