NO IMMINENT HAZARD: A boat remains beached at Whisper Bay in the Whitsundays. It hit a rock wall after breaking an anchor on Monday .
NO IMMINENT HAZARD: A boat remains beached at Whisper Bay in the Whitsundays. It hit a rock wall after breaking an anchor on Monday . Jordan Gilliland

Damaged boat left beached at Whisper Bay

A BOAT remains beached at Whisper Bay after hitting a rock wall when its anchor broke on Monday morning.

Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Whitsunday was called to the incident about 11am on Monday, with reports the boat was drifting dangerously close to the rock wall.

When the crew arrived at 11.35am the vessel was on the rocks, with the owner and Whitsunday Water Police in attendance.

The VMR Whitsunday activation report said the water police and owner took the VMR towline with them to get closer to the vessel and gain access to boat.

The owner swam out to his vessel before dropping the towline and allegedly appearing "to abandon any attempt at salvage”.

VMR Whitsunday remained at Whisper Bay for 15 minutes before asking the water police if any more assistance was needed and then returned to their berth.

The activation report said the owner allegedly made no attempt to board his vessel, or try to help in any way with the crew assuming "he had given it up as a lost cause”.

Brett Norris, Senior Constable from the Whitsunday Water Police, said one crew attended the incident, which was likely caused by an anchor set up for south-easterly winds, when northerlies were blowing on the day.

He said the owner looked to have given up after the boat hit the rocks as "he knew it wasn't salvageable.”

He said no charges were laid.

However, Senior Constable Norris said it was a reminder for owners to remember they had an obligation to anchor their boats to the conditions.

He said the boat removal would now be in the hands of the owner's insurance company, if he was insured, and Maritime Safety Queensland.

Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Angus Mitchell said marine officers attended the scene and confirmed the vessel was not an imminent hazard to navigation or the environment. He said owners were always responsible for the salvage or repair of their vessels.

"Investigations are under way,” he said.

"It is expected the owner will be issued with a Harbour Masters' direction to remove the vessel from Queensland waters.

"Where owners fail to meet their responsibilities Maritime Safety Queensland has powers to remove vessels and recover costs through the court.”


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