According to Australian authorities, a 57-year-old British man tried to flee the country (and an outstanding warrant for drug-related charges) by escaping on a well-stocked jet ski. But just as he was making it to an island respite, he was arrested on the mudflats.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) say they were first alerted about a man on a jet ski “possibly armed with a crossbow and carrying additional fuel and supplies” riding away from Pundsand Bay on March 25. Authorities determined the wave rider was likely a man who had been charged in Western Australia, according to a press release from the ABF.
Authorities believe the man’s final destination was Papua New Guinea, The Age reports, and tracked his path through the Torres Straight with the help of locals. Ultimately, the man travelled about 93 miles before he was arrested, The Guardian reports, making it to Saibai Island’s mudflats, about 2 and a half miles from the coast of Papua New Guinea.
“He gave it a red-hot go,” Queensland police officer Jock O’Keeffe told The Guardian. “It’s a bit unusual to try and get from Pundsand Bay all the way to PNG.”
“We wouldn’t have gone to this sort of effort if they weren’t significant charges,”O’Keeffe added.
The man was moved to Thursday Island after his arrest and is expected to be extradited to Western Australia. According to The Age, he faces one charge each of possessing methylamphetamine with intent to sell and possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained property
“This arrest sends a strong message to would-be fugitives,” an AFP spokesperson said in a statement. “Our reach across Australia is second to none and we will use all our contacts and relationships to find you and bring you before a court.”