In a disturbing repeat of events of last year when a drunken naval rating smashed his car into local Devonport gallery Art By The Sea, Vince Flam, NZ navy captain and commanding officer of the Kiwi battleship Grog Spree, drove his ship while drunk around Devonport, before attempting to steal a large number of explosives from the Kauri Point ammunition dump.
Flam, armed with nothing other than a soup spoon, secretly commandeered the Grog Spree and slipped quietly out of the Devonport naval base into the inner harbour, where he lobbed a few shells at Devon Towers before heading for open sea.
Claiming he had only imbibed “one beer,” Flam attempted to take the ship “to get a pack of U Boats”, which he alleged were located somewhere in the outer harbour. However, having used up all the ship’s ammunition stocks on Devon Tower, Flam decided he should first resupply the ship with shells, explosives and some fireworks the Navy was saving for its Guy Fawkes celebrations, from its ammunition storage facility at Kauri Point.
While attempting to head to the ammunition dump, Flam instead crashed the gargantuan merchant of death into a local seaside cafe at Takapuna. Somehow managing to reverse the enormous symbol of naval potency out of the cafe, Flam then managed to back the Navy’s flagship into Rangitoto Island, where several pieces of the superstructure, D turret and the seaplane catapult became detached. A number of the fuel tanks were also ruptured, which left a large slick behind the stricken vessel and which the local constabulary were able to follow, as Flam and his floating arsenal again attempted to head to Kauri Point.
Local constable PC Achilles Heel followed the Grog Spree from a safe distance. “I didn’t fancy my chances against that kind of weaponry” he said, adding that a can of pepper spray would have been largely ineffective against the massive 11inch guns of the floating steel fortress.
Flam, who, in his inebriated state was only able to retrieve a packet “double happy” firecrackers from the Kauri Point facility, then headed to the Hauraki Gulf Course where he sulked on the bridge, letting off the crackers and necking a bottle of Ajax.
Abandoning the ship as it slowly sank beneath the waves, Flam made his way back to the Naval Base in a lifeboat where he was detained and arrested by PC Heel on arrival. On being asked as to the whereabouts of the soup spoon, Flam claimed it had “run away” with a dish they had happened across in a skip located near the naval base entrance.
Owners of the seaside cafe were understandably upset by the captain’s actions. “We have a battleship-sized hole in the back of our cafe. The insurance company simply isn’t going to believe us.”
The Speculator understands Flam is denying all the charges, instead claiming he was simply ” a victim of the Navy’s drinking culture.”