Tammy Good is fed up with launching and retrieving her boat every morning at the Warrnambool harbour.
She swims horses for south-west trainers most mornings and has to put her boat in and out of the water each day as she can’t trust that kids jumping off the breakwater won’t sink her boat.
“We come most days of the week, unless the weather conditions are windy or treacherous,” she said.
“We do it probably 300 of the 365 days of the year.”
She said as soon as school holidays rolled around lots of kids spent the day jumping off the breakwater, but some were also climbing aboard and sinking boats.
“It’s the same every year,” she said.
“Probably three weeks ago was the first hot day and school was just about finished. Straight away the kids were jumping off the pier – and that’s fine, they have every right to go swimming – but they were getting in the boats and they deliberately sunk my boat.
“When I came down the next morning we had to tow it in and empty it. Everything had been pinched out of it and had to be replaced. I put in a police complaint.”
She said she wasn’t the only person whose boat has been tampered with.
“It’s not just mine, it’s other fishermen’s dinghies too,” she said.“The kids seem to think they are their toys. I don't mind kids swimming, but keep out of the boats.”
She said she starts between 5.30am and 6am every morning.
“You couldn’t trust that your boat would be where it should if I came down in the morning,” she said.
She said the boat ramp “wasn’t really safe”.
“Some days are fine when it’s flat, but if there has been a swell it’s difficult retrieving it,” she said.
“Some days can be really treacherous. I think they need a spur. Revamping the ramp isn’t enough.”
Ballarat fisherman Matt Simpson is in the city visiting relatives. He launched his boat on Wednesday morning and said the boat ramp needed to be improved.
“It’s not good,” he said. “It cops the swell and there is no protection.”
A community action group is requesting the Warrnambool City Council build an enclosed harbour.