Motor boat hauled from muddy depths



? CLASSICALLY-designed motor boat sank to the muddy bottom of the Fitzroy River yesterday.

The owner, of Maleny, on the Sunshine Coast, had only recently installed a new motor.

Nobody was aboard the ninemetre vessel when Rockhampton Coast Guard received a call from a river user, about 12.10am, to notify that it appeared to be sinking off the northern bank near the Cyril Connell Fields.

The river user offered to take Coast Guard radio operator Alan Marshall to the boat in a dinghy.

"The boat was taking a fair amount of water,'' Mr Marshall said about what he saw upon arrival.

He called in the Coast Guard's rescue vessel, skippered by Rob Carswell, to assist.

A pump was used in a bid to bail water, however, the boat continued to flood.

"It sunk deeper until the water flooded over the stern and into the cockpit,'' Mr Marshall said.

After almost two hours it came to rest on the bottom.

A 3.9m tide covered the boat.

About midday yesterday Fitzroy Motor Boat Club manager Mick Garrett and two helpers launched a two-hour salvage operation before low tide.

"It was a real rush against the tide but we got the boat up,'' Mr Garrett said.

It was taken back to the Motor Boat Club and moored on a pontoon.

Mr Garrett said the boat had been moored in the river for a couple of years.

"He (owner) had been doing it up. He'd only just put a new motor in so that's probably $10,000$20,000 ? I wouldn't like to put a figure on it.''

The cause of the sinking remained unknown.

Mr Garrett said the boat was still to be inspected for a leak.

Mr Marshall said the mooring chain may not have been long enough for the king tide.

Police were not investigating.



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