Help with a ‘carton of beer’
Group from WA assists boat owners
IF THERE’S one thing the Whitsundays needs right now it’s a helping hand and one group from Western Australia has been doing just that - by helping stricken boat owners across the coast.
Luke Martin Purdy and his team from Busseltonbased Geographe Marine Salvage and Rescue had their equipment trucked 6000km to the Whitsundays and they haven’t stopped working since.
Working to right a vessel at Cannonvale Beach on Saturday, they had their truck and excavator stuck in the mud but with some help from Banks Transport and Earthmoving, they safely removed a vessel from the mangroves which they say should now be able to float with the tides.
“We got the job done,” Mr Purdy said.
“We were pressed hard by the tides.
“The machines don’t like the mangroves. There’s no substance underneath. At one point we had the truck down to the top of its wheels and the excavator right down to the base of its body.
“(But) we managed to get it out without damaging the boat at all.t was pretty hectic but we got it.”
Mr Purdy was in Indonesia when he started receiving calls from insurance companies to get his team and gear to the Whitsundays.
After “packing his life into two semi trailers” Mr Purdy and his team made the trek from Bussleton, south of Perth and two weeks ago they commenced work.
“These guys have all followed me from the west. We’re a really tight group. Most of them went to school with each other,” he said.
With so many stranded boats the group’s job isn’t over yet and Mr Purdy said he might never leave.
“I’ll help for as long as I can, for as much as I can. That’s my plan,” he said. “I might be here forever. “(Some of ) those people have got nothing. They lost their house, they lost their boat. We managed to get a crane for one guy for $1500, we know it’s $10,000, so for our part of it, throw in a carton of beer and we’ll do the job.
“We do insurance jobs but we also do as much as we can for the man who's not insured. We’ll do that for a carton of beer all day long.”
Mr Purdy said he was amazed at the spirit shown by the Whitsunday community in the wake of the storm.
“To watch this community be bashed to bits then come back together, I’m honoured to be part of that,” he said.
“Everyone we’ve met here has been the most helpful person ever.”
THE TEAM: Tim White, Kade Mas, Jordan Verrell, Luke Martin Purdy, Ash Dunn, William Kent, Mason Vickers and Dan Degley with Jayde Towes (front) removing a boat at Cannonvale Beach on Saturday.