|Updating the salvage operation:- the above photo shows the finale of yesterday's efforts, approaching low tide (4.30pm) and with the associated tugboat churning mud. After a day's work by 10 crew, the crane-held boat was still partially submerged but the gaping hole in the hull had been stuffed with special material.|
Shortly after this photo the barge and its cargo were towed by the tug to what is called the Duck Pond as the wind had increased and the swell was rising. The salvage operation continued all today in the Duck Pond - a sheltered area behind the rock wall - it was on the other side of this rockwall where the boat initially came to grief. By late this afternoon the boat had been righted and was being held in two slings, forward and aft, by the crane. As there is a strong wind weather alert for today and the next three days, it will be interesting to see whether the trip is made around to the slipway (involving going out into Cumberland Bay) or whether the whole rig remains in the Duck Pond until the weather calms.
Incidentally, the boat was bought just a few weeks ago and the new owner had hired a skipper to bring it up from the Gold Coast. I'm not sure if this was the new owner's maiden voyage on the boat but he hadn't taken her out very often since her arrival in Townsville a week or so ago.