Boatie ‘high and dry’
Homeless in the wake of TC Debbie
HE LOST more than his boat when Debbie crossed the Whitsunday coast in March.
Geoff Hines also lost his home.
The 68-year-old Whitsunday local is now living out of his car and sleeping under an old tarp.
His 55 foot motor cruiser, Yarran, was not insured and Mr Hines has no money to pay for the salvage of the vessel from the mangroves at the western end of Shute Bay.
Mr Hines said there were two holes under the water line and three above.
Maritime Safety Queensland has been in contact with Mr Hines and expects him to deliver a report outlining what he intends to do with the boat.
Mr Hines has also contacted a Queensland Government assessor, who suggested he hire a double rotor Chinook helicopter to remove the vessel from the mangroves.
Chris Carrington, a qualified marine assessor contracted by the Queensland Government, said the idea of using a Chinook was one which had been effectively employed in other salvage operations.
However, he admitted no Australian Chinook would be capable of lifting such a heavy vessel.
The marine salvage expert explained the best way to salvage the boat would be to dig a channel through the mud and drag it back to the water.
Mr Hines was concerned about the reaction from environmentalists if mangroves were damaged.
Mr Carrington said thick mangroves and two salt water crocs spotted in the area were restricting access.
Mr Hines said he was aware of his responsibility as a boat owner but was simply not able to honour it.
He said a tug to tow the boat out would cost $6000 a day. It’s money he does not have.
BOAT LOSS: Geoff Hines has lost his home after Cyclone Debbie beached his boat in Shute Bay.