SUBMERGED: A catamaran sunk off Port of Airlie in the early hours of Monday morning.
SUBMERGED: A catamaran sunk off Port of Airlie in the early hours of Monday morning. Claudia Alp

Catamaran sinks off Port of Airlie

A CATAMARAN which sunk off the Port of Airlie has prompted calls from Whitsunday Water Police for boat owners to ensure their bilge pumps are in working order.

The 11.5m Seawind catamaran had been moored between Whitsunday Sailing Club and the Port of Airlie.

The vessel was brought to the attention of Volunteer Marine Rescue around 6am on Monday morning after a bypasser noticed it was submerged.

The matter was then referred to Whitsunday Water Police.

Senior Constable Adrian Fitzpatrick went out to the catamaran and said the reason for sinking was unknown at this stage, but northerly winds were often a factor in vessels becoming submerged.

"This time of year, we're coming up to northerly winds which have vessels taking on more water,” he said.

"Sometimes when boats turn around, the bow faces into the wind which causes the vessel to pitch up and down collecting water under the bow.

"If the vessel has a low freeboard, it doesn't take much for them to scoop up water and fill the inside, especially if the bilge pumps don't kick in.”

Snr Constable Fitzpatrick said boat owners should check their bilge pumps were working adequately on a regular basis.

"It's important that boat owners run a bilge system that has integrity and that works. If the bilge system is being operated by batteries, then they need to ensure those batteries are being sufficiently charged,” he said.


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