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Onlookers Flee As Multi-Million-Dollar Superyacht Slams Into Wharf

Footage has emerged of the terrifying moment a superyacht crashed into a wharf in Cairns, sending onlookers fleeing as diners watched on.

Luxury vessel Moatize suffered a mechanical fault as it was docking at the Cairns Marlin Marina at about 6 pm on Saturday night.

The 45-metre yacht was locked at full speed as it neared the busy wharf, but quick-thinking crew managed to drop an anchor and avoid catastrophe.

Photo: Prawn Star Cairns.

“We took control in the wheelhouse to see if it was a control fault, it was still going ahead so we did what we’re trained to in collisions: we shut down all engines, dropped an anchor and thank God we selected a nice spot where there was no personnel,” Jason Chambers, the master of the superyacht, told the Cairns Post.

Diners at restaurant Prawn Star could only watch on as the yacht ploughed into the wharf just metres away from tables, while a mother can be seen pulling her young son out of the vessel's way.

"Everyone was safe but a little shaken after this happened yesterday. Thank you to our amazing crew for handling it so well," Prawn Star wrote on Facebook.

Video of the incident has since amassed more than 110,00 views.

"Too close for comfort," said one user.

"Glad you guys are all ok that was a close call!!" said another.

The restaurant, a converted trawler, was forced to close after the incident but has since relocated and reopened its doors.

Photo: Prawn Star Cairns

“Some of the customers thought it was an absolute hoot,” Prawn Star manager Kay Green told the Cairns Post. “We offered one guy a free beer for the inconvenience, and he just said it was the best thing he’d ever seen his whole holiday.”

The yacht, which was built in 1999 and had arrived from Brisbane, suffered minor damage on the port side.

An investigation into the incident is underway.