Batemans Bay sunken yacht to be recovered

16 March 2012

Roads and Maritime Services today has engaged a contractor to salvage the 19 metre timber yacht which has been partially sunken near the Batemans Bay Bridge since 14 February.

Maritime Acting Manager Boating Safety and Regional Operations Craig Whitmore said the owner of the yacht, who does not have insurance, was issued with a Clean Up Notice and a Notice to Remove as the vessel was a hazard to navigation.

Mr Whitmore said that while the old hull appeared to be intact, there was no guarantee the vessel will remain in one piece during the recovery effort.

“A suction dredge will first go underneath the vessel to apply lifting straps, then lift bags – like air bags – will be used. They will be filled with compressed air and the vessel floated to the top where any leaks will be identified and patched before it is pumped out,” Mr Whitmore said.

Four quotes were sought for the salvage with Narellan-based Hope Diving Services chosen to carry out the recovery.

Maritime will be seeking to recover those costs from the owner.

Mr Whitmore said the salvors were due to arrive on site on Monday to set up and begin the salvage effort on Tuesday, aiming to have the vessel recovered by the end of the week, weather permitting.

During this process Fire Rescue NSW will be working closely with Maritime to monitor and respond to any environmental issue.

Maritime Boating Safety Officers (BSOs) are inspecting the site daily and there is no evidence of pollution.

“BSOs will maintain patrols during the salvage effort. Skippers will need to keep well clear of salvage work, near the Batemans Bay Bridge on the Clyde River, and keep vessel speed and wash to a minimum,” Mr Whitmore said.

Maritime will work in conjunction with NSW Fire and Rescue to ensure no pollution around the salvage site.

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