Beached boat breaks
A BOAT that ran aground at Rainbow Beach on Wednesday was expected to be removed in pieces last night, despite a five-hour rescue attempt.
Hopes of saving the Ping Wo II faded as a recovery team of five saw the vessel buckle and break in several places as they tried to lift it with two two-tonne cranes.
The boat appeared to fall victim to the pressure of more than three tonnes of sand and water that entered the vessel while it was beached during high tide late Wednesday night or in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Dean Hayes of Rainbow Beach Rescue and a team of four had planned to dig out the boat and lift it off the beach once emptied of sand and water.
However the aging 40-foot motor cruiser had significant structural damage, causing it to begin to break in half.
Double Island Point Fishing Charters operator Greg Pearce said he came across the Ping Wo II while he was driving along the beach on Thursday.
The boat was thought to have dragged its anchor and drifted up to 6km from behind Double Island to the shore at Rainbow Beach.
He said the boat's owner and a passenger most likely would have anchored down behind Double Island and gone to sleep before a rude awakening as the boat rocked in the surf at Rainbow Beach.
Mr Pearce said the boat's owner, who was on his way to Townsville, lost all of his belongings.