VicPD arrests woman who barricaded herself on yacht, jumped into Inner Harbour

VicPD arrests woman who barricaded herself on yacht, jumped into Inner Harbour

A video shows the moment when Victoria Police officers pulled a woman out of the waters of the Inner Harbour after she boarded a yacht and barricaded herself from police.

Victoria Police say they were called to the 1200-block of Wharf Street just before 11 a.m. for a report of a woman trespassing on a boat.

When officers arrived, they tried to talk to the woman, at which point she climbed high up on the boat and barricaded herself there, according to VicPD.

“Trained crisis negotiators with our Emergency Response Team attempted to communicate with the individual to facilitate a peaceful surrender,” said VicPD in a statement.

Laura Podgorenko says she was in the area when police began surrounding the yacht.

“When I looked out the window there was a bunch of officers on the yacht, on the top of the yacht, and there were officers all over the wharf just watching the officers on the yacht,” she said.

Another witness, Kelly Olsen, tells CHEK News he was downtown for lunch when he heard “a bit of a disturbance.”

“Just some voices to start, then it escalated to where emergency from the harbour and police and such showed up.”

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Podgorenko says that around 18 officers were there, some wearing VicPD uniforms and others clad in dark green uniforms, as one officer brought items off the boat and onto the wharf such as propane tanks.

“It didn’t look like they were taking guns or any weird things off,” she said.

The woman was popping in and out of sight on the yacht before she eventually jumped into the water.

Podgorenko says emergency crews tried to throw her a life ring but she refused to take it.

“She wouldn’t accept them taking her out of the water. She was yelling and screaming and stuff like that,” said Podgorenko.

Eventually, emergency crews managed to surround the woman and video shows officers pulling her out of the water.

Podgorenko says the woman appeared to calm down once she was on the dock and in handcuffs.

Victoria Police initially said the woman was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and was taken to hospital.

However, in an update late Wednesday afternoon, VicPD said that the woman was medically cleared by Emergency Health Services at the scene and was arrested for mischief. She was taken to VicPD cells and not the hospital, police say.

Police are pictured along Victoria’s Inner Harbour on July 10, 2024. (Submitted)

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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