8 Jul 2019

Eight detained over New Caledonia yacht confrontation

3:38 pm on 8 July 2019

Investigators in New Caledonia have detained eight men for questioning over a confrontation with a luxury yacht in a protected area off Ouvea two weeks ago.

An Ouvea beach

An Ouvea beach Photo: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This comes as customary leaders in Ouvea in turn have decided to lodge a complaint with police for alleged breaches of environmental protection laws.

The eight were part of a group of 11 men who assaulted two Australian tourists on the yacht, damaged the vessel and took away gear, including spear-guns.

The locals fired a shotgun when they challenged the yachting party.

There are conflicting claims about what was agreed between the group on the yacht and the customary chiefs on what could be done in the protected marine area.

Three more people are expected to be questioned.

No charges have been laid to date.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs