LAST DAYS FOR ICONIC WRECK

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

TOWNSVILLE-based con­trac­tor Pa­cific Marine Group will be­gin dis­man­tling the Whit­sun­day Magic ship­wreck from this week.

The iconic ship­wreck has been stranded since nasty northerly winds blew it on to the Can­non­vale Beach fore­shore more than four years ago.

The Whit­sun­day Magic’s colour­ful his­tory started in 2011 when it sank off Shute Har­bour for “un­known rea­sons”.

A Mar­itime Safety Queens­land spokesman said the re­moval of the ship­wreck was sched­uled for Mon­day, but Pa­cific Marine Group said it would be­gin later this week and take 10 days.

“It is ex­pected the ves­sel will be dis­man­tled in situ and pieces loaded onto a barge for trans­port to Townsville for dis­posal,” the spokesman said.

“On­look­ers should keep well clear of the site and be mind­ful of pos­si­ble ma­chin­ery move­ments as­so­ci­ated with the project.

“The salvors will use an engi­neer to plan for the de­con­struc­tion and care will be taken with load­ing the barge to en­sure de­bris does not fall off and lit­ter the seabed.” Peo­ple oper­at­ing boats in the area are re­quested to be mind­ful of the barge op­er­a­tion.

Tourism Whit­sun­days CEO Craig Turner said while he un­der­stood many res­i­dents and tourists alike con­sid­ered the ship­wreck to be a tourist at­trac­tion, he trusted it had gone through a thor­ough process.

“I have heard peo­ple think it’s great, there would be a lot of tourists that go around it and would prob­a­bly be some good fish­ing around it, but the rea­son it will be moved is based on a num­ber of fac­tors and I don’t know the process,” he said.

“The cost to re­move it would be sig­nif­i­cant, but there must be some fun­da­men­tal rea­sons why they are re­mov­ing it.”

The Whit­sun­day Times has made fur­ther in­quiries with MSQ re­gard­ing the cost of the re­moval.

PHOTO: PETER CARRUTHERS

ICONIC LAND­MARK: The wreck of the Whit­sun­day Magic in Pioneer Bay.

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