Salvage operation takes 10-hours to remove wreck
A 10-HOUR salvage and clean-up operation has removed the wreck of a 26-foot (7.9m) motor cruiser from rocks and the foreshore of Old Woman Island.
Ross Hopper, in charge of recovery and salvage for Clayton's Towing, said more than a dozen people had been involved in the operation, which began with a McDermott Aviation helicopter flying out of Sunshine Coast Airport at 5am yesterday.
Unable to get a barge close to the island for the salvage operation, the chopper brought back the broken vessel piece by piece and laid it on a grassed area on Nojoor Rd, Mudjimba, near the North Shore Soccer Club for the ground crew to take over.
Mr Hopper said a Queensland National Parks officer had been flown in as part of the operation to keep a bird's-eye view on the clean-up to ensure no oil or fuel spills harmed the environment or wildlife.
No divers were involved "but we got wet", Mr Hopper said, in bringing up a rope and anchor plus metal railing from rocks at the low-tide waterline.
Mooloolaba Water Police Senior Constable Murray Lyons said last week the vessel had had engine trouble before washing on to rocks on the eastern side of the island, also known as Mudjimba Island.
Coast Guard Commander Ian Hunt said an attempt at a rescue had been abandoned when the boat crashed ashore and filled with water.
The owner, whose vessel was insured, reportedly was safe after being rescued by a friend on a jetski.
Poor weather conditions forced a salvage attempt on Saturday to be called off and Mr Hopper described yesterday's conditions as being "borderline" at times due to high winds.
Logistically, the whole operation was not a difficult one, Mr Hopper said, "it's just lining them up (air and ground crew) all at once and working with the tides".