A MAN who allegedly hid in the air conditioning system of a bulk carrier that berthed in Newcastle attempting to flee the country will face court on Wednesday.
Police will allege that the large vessel came to the assistance of a yacht in trouble off the coast of Yamba about 10.30am.
The ship attached a tow line to the smaller craft in a bit to bring it towards the Newcastle offshore anchorage. A 31-year-old man who had been aboard was taken into a cabin on the bulk carrier.
"As the large ship entered Newcastle waters about 9pm the same day, it was discovered the tow line carrying the yacht had snapped with the yacht lost in the process and the 31-year-old man was missing," police said in a statement.
Marine Area Command police searched the area into Sunday but were unable to find the 31-year-old.
Australian Border Force and NSW Police officers searched the ship while it was at anchor in Newcastle on Monday. At about 11am officers found the 31-year-old inside a vent.
"Subsequent checks revealed the man was in breach of his bail over an alleged sexual assault and he was arrested," police said.
The search for the man also yielded $4435 in cash and a knife. Police seized the items, which will undergo forensic examination.
The 31-year-old, from Peakhurst, was charged with breach of bail.
Police said they will allege in court the man deliberately cut the tow line and planned to hide aboard the bulk carrier until it departed for Malaysia.
He was formally refused bail in Newcastle Local Court on Monday and will face Sutherland Local Court on Wednesday. A man will reappear in court today after he was allegedly found hiding in the air-conditioning vent of a bulk carrier while attempting to leave the country.
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