HABA vows to swim after sinking
LOCAL dive and snorkel company HABA has vowed to soldier on as efforts to float the company’s boat Evolution got underway.
As staff pondered their future, Maritime Safety Queensland announced it would investigate the accident.
“That investigation has commenced,” a spokesperson said.
“The cause of the incident has not yet been determined.”
Contractors from HABA’s insurance company began efforts to re-float the boat on Wednesday morning.
It is expected the boat will be inspected by MSQ inspectors on Friday.
If the boat is seaworthy, it will be towed to Cairns for a full investigation.
In the interim, HABA’s operations manager Stephen Dennis said the company would trim sails in order to attempt to stay in business.
“We’ve closed our shop in Macrossan St, and we’re looking for a replacement boat to charter,” Mr Dennis said.
“It’s a difficult time, obviously, but our intention is to continue operations.
“We have a lot of debtors. Some of those people might start paying their bills.”
Mr Dennis said the company carried ample insurance to cover all outstanding debts and to cover any crew gear that has been ruined.
“I still can’t believe it,” one booking agent said.
“It was like when Steve Irwin died.”
The 29m catamaran sank suddenly on Saturday night while at its mooring at the Meridien Marina in Port Douglas.
A police investigation has also been launched.
For HABA owner Bruce Funch, it is the second marine tragedy in less than three years.
His private houseboat sank during an overnight fishing trip with his son and son’s girlfriend in January 2008.
Salvage effort: the rescue crew work on raising HABA yesterday