Boat rescue off sand successful
IT WASN'T the blow-up mattresses that did the job for a houseboat that capsized off Hervey Bay during the Superboats visit last weekend, but it was something similar.
There had been 11 people on board the eight-metre-long vessel, which was in the process of turning around so its crew could return to shore, when a freak wave combined with vicious northerlies over-turned the vessel.
The occupants of the houseboat were rescued but the aluminium craft lodged on a sandbank.
The vessel's owner, Kevin Scougall, said he planned to lift the trapped houseboat to safety with the help of an ingenious plan that involved placing blow-up mattresses inside its cabin.
"Yeah we got it off. Went over on Monday and the northerlies were preventing us from doing it, but we found a bloke from River Heads who had preformed salvage jobs in the past," Mr Scougall said.
Large drums were attached to the vessel at low tide and, as the incoming tide surrounded the houseboat, it was released from the bank.
Mr Scougall said his mates then helped him tow the boat to shore where water and sand was pumped out and it was repositioned upright.
He said he expected the houseboat, which had taken him years to build, would take to the sea again but not under the same conditions that almost claimed it.