In­cred­i­ble new pic­tures

Owner’s sad news with stuck boats

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Jarred Sfer­ruzzi

WHEN Denise Hadley be­gan search­ing for her lost boat, she was hope­ful she would find and sal­vage it with­out too much trou­ble.

While she wasn’t able to track hers down, the im­ages taken at the north­ern end of Shute Har­bour show­ing yachts pushed and dragged side­ways into man­groves proved to her the full force of Cy­clone Deb­bie.

When the cy­clone hit Air­lie Beach, it brought with it winds up to 260kmh over sev­eral days.

Dam­age was ex­ten­sive, with re­cov­ery ef­forts still un­der way and likely to con­tinue for many months.

Af­ter the storm, Ms Hadley con­tacted Wasp NQ, a drone com­pany, to con­duct aerial sur­veys in ar­eas her yacht could have been taken to.

Although the com­pany searched the Whit­sun­days, they weren’t able to track down her yacht. How­ever, they were able to as­sist oth­ers in their hunt.

Linda Pri­day iden­ti­fied her yacht in one of photos, trapped in by an­other boat and un­able to be sal­vaged as there was no wa­ter to float on.

When asked how she would get it out, she wasn’t sure.

“Too heavy to he­li­copter and noth­ing to at­tach a line to,” Ms Pri­day said.

“The man­groves have be­come like ra­zor blades 60–80m be­yond the mud­flats.

“I'm feel­ing so sick right now.”

Many yachts in the Whit­sun­days re­gion are still un­ac­counted for and Ms Hadley was losing hope she would ever re­claim hers.

“I think ours may have been one of the boats crushed by the barge,” she said. “The whole thing is heart­break­ing.”

Mar­itime Safety Queens­land has re­ported over 80 ship­wrecks.

PHOTO: WASP NQ

HEART­BREAK­ING: The force of Cy­clone Deb­bie pushed these yachts into the man­groves and dragged them back fur­ther in­land.

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