Five hour operation to recover boat off Coast rocks
IT TOOK a husband and wife team, a telehandler crane and the help of locals but a 6.5 metre fishing boat is finally off the rocks after flipping near Pt Cartwright on the weekend.
Clayton's Towing was called in on Monday to remove the boat which had become a temporary tourist attraction in its own right on the weekend.
"We had our work cut out for us,'' Ross Hopper said of the job.
The Clayton's crew drove its specialised towing equipment about 2km from the Kawana Surf Life Saving Club beach access.
But with a washout between the rocks, Mr Hopper said rocks had to be put in place to provide access to the telehandler.
Local residents helped move a number of rocks into place so the machinery could get over the washout.
The aluminium boat was then put in a sling to be lifted off the rocks in the operation which took about five hours.
Mr Hopper said while the boat had flipped it was not too badly damaged and would still float.
The boat was put on a trailer and driven off the beach by Mr Hopper's wife Sally about 7pm.
The drama was not over though with the soft sand meaning the telehandler had to be attached by its winch to another four-wheel-drive to be pulled off the sand.
Mr Hopper said the boat's owner was very relieved to have his pride and joy off the rocks - and out of the public gaze.
"He was definitely happy that we got it off without any damage,'' Mr Hopper said.
On the rocks: not the best way to end Easter weekend
T'S not the way any boatie would like to end a Easter long weekend.
Trying to salvage your pride and joy - and hold on to what's left of your pride - as tourists take photos of your boat high and dry on rocks at Pt Carwright.
The Coast boatie, who did not want to be named, told the Daily yesterday of how he was hit by a big wave just outside the Mooloolaba harbour entrance.
"A large rogue wave came... I tried to accelerate out of his but she started to roll before I could get to it.''
The boat's four occupants were thrown into the water in the drama just after 5pm on Saturday.
Residents made 000 calls with horrified onlookers reporting children in the water without life jackets.
Yesterday, the boat's skipper was focusing all his efforts on trying to secure the boat ahead of Sunday night's high tide.
"We are hoping tonight with a bit of luck we will be able to get it to this sandy area over here.''
They hope they will be able to drag it off there with the aid of another boat.
The boat had already moved about 15 to 20 metres further onto the rocks from where it first flipped on Saturday night's high tide.
Late yesterday, the owner was joined by mates who helped prop up the boat with planks before using a pulley system of ropes, secured to a large rock, to move the boat further towards the sandy area.
The efforts were being watched by a large number of locals and holidaymakers enjoying the perfect weather - and the spectacle.
"Happy Easter to you. That's all I can say,'' the owner said of his bad timing.