Police officers said they were “horrified” at the scenes they witnessed as hundreds of revellers let loose at a beach party.
A police investigation is underway after hundreds of revellers partied on a Darwin sandbar near croc-infested waters.
The event, which was earlier spruiked by the Northern Territory’s chief minister, saw hundreds party on a sandbar near Darwin’s CBD.
As the tide rose, and the event drew to a close, brawls broke out, an overloaded boat capsized as partygoers attempted to flee and police seized hundreds of litres of alcohol.
Despite this, Chief Minister Michael Gunner was happy to take shots at southern states on his social media.
“You can’t do this in Bondi, but you can do this in Darwin,” he said.
“This is the reward for Covid Zero and hard borders – freedom and fun.”
The feeling of freedom and fun was not felt by Darwin police.
NT Water Police Acting Senior Sergeant Andrew Hocking said the event was an ordeal for his officers when speaking to local media on Monday.
In one case, he said, it had taken two hours for four officers and two boats, including the unit’s largest vessel, to help get everyone at the party back to shore.
He added the officers had been shocked by some partygoers’ behaviour.
“They were frankly horrified at the time about what they were seeing,” he said.
“[There were] overloaded boats, no safety gear. They had boats capsizing, people in the water, lots of drunken activity.
“There were also fights, alleged assaults taking place.”
Police also seized about 300L of alcohol from the event.
Senior Sergeant Hocking added the height and current of the incoming tide and the number of partygoers had made the situation so dangerous that police were “genuinely concerned” for people’s lives.