PERSEVERE: The yacht Perseverance which has been impounded by the Federal Court of Australia at the Yamba marina.
PERSEVERE: The yacht Perseverance which has been impounded by the Federal Court of Australia at the Yamba marina.

Court seizes Yamba yacht

By ADRIAN MILLER

THE Federal Court of Australia has seized a boat docked at Yamba Marina after the owner was sued for money allegedly owed to another ship.

The apprehended ship, Perseverance, was in dry-dock in Yamba undergoing maintenance when it was impounded on July 26 by a marshall of the Federal Court.

Owned by former Yamba resident David Billin, the vessel was seized after a writ was issued by Mowie Fisheries, which claimed they were owed money after rescuing Perseverance in 2003.

The twin-masted, woodenhulled ketch was returning to Australia from Papua New Guinea when it ran out of essential supplies and Mr Billin, the only person on board, was forced to issue a distress call.

The Australian Coast Guard asked a ship owned by Mowie Fisheries, the Gypsy, to rescue Perseverance.

They furnished him with supplies, which included food and fuel, before returning to the Australian mainland.

In the writ submitted on July 26, Mowie Fisheries sought 50 per cent of the value of the Perseverance after their boat rescued Mr Billin's ship near Bathurst Island off the Far North Coast of Queensland in January, 2003.

Mowie Fisheries lawyer Ann English said her client was owed money for fuel, food and water they supplied to the boat during the 10 hour round-trip the Gypsy was forced to make.

"My clients, who are commercial fishermen, had to steam a considerable way and, as a consequence, lost quite a considerable amount of time fishing and were put to great inconvenience and expense to assist Mr Billin," she said.

Attempts to contact Mr Billin, now believed to be in Sydney, were unsuccessful this week.

Perseverance is restricted to the dry-dock at Yamba Marina after the Federal Court marshall gave instructions the boat was not allowed back into the water or to be moved without the approval of the court.

Mr Billin has until August 16 to respond to the claim before the matter goes to court.



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