UPDATE 5.15PM: A CRAB boat which was stranded on Mudjimba Beach has been successfully salvaged this afternoon.

The Elsie Ann had run aground about 8.30am, just south of Beach Access 127, after its propeller became fouled up by ropes.

Three attempts were made to tow the boat back into the ocean but the towlines separated.

On the fourth attempt the 14.5m Elsie Ann was successfully towed off the beach and back to sea.

UPDATE 2PM: COAST Guard volunteers and the crew of a 14.5m crab boat stranded on Mudjimba Beach are preparing for an afternoon salvage operation.

With the tide coming in, efforts are set to be made in the next couple of hours to pull the stricken vessel back out to sea.

The boat, 'Elsie Ann' was stranded on the beach about 8.30am, after its propeller became entangled in rope and the engine stopped working.

The beaching, about 100m south of Beach Access 127, drew plenty of interested onlookers.

Among them was Gary Pilling and his grandson, Jacob.

Mr Pilling got a message from a mate who worked at Coast Guard about the beaching, so they headed down to have a look.

Mr Pilling, visiting from Sydney, said they came down about an hour after he heard about and were having a swim when his grandson said "granddad and dad, there's an anchor out here".

"So we grabbed it and pulled it in and put it up near the boat so it wouldn't cause any problems for anyone," Mr Pilling said.

"There was heaps of people here looking, some rain's got rid of a few of them.

"It looks like the propeller's caught a rope, either the anchor rope or a shark net or something and it's seized the engine and they couldn't get out so they've had to ditch it here."

He expected they may have to tow the bout back out once high tide arrived and the rope had been cleared from the propeller.

"The high tide should fix it," Mr Pilling said.

A man onboard the vessel declined to comment about the incident.

It was understood a number of other boats had tried to hold the crab boat but it had become too dangerous so they had to let it drift into the beach.

All the crew were off the 'Elsie Ann' before it ran aground.

Fuel could be seen and smelled spilling from the boat into the shallows and pooling around the stricken vessel.

EARLIER:

A CRAB boat with a fouled propeller has ended up stranded on Mudjimba Beach.

Coast Guard officers are assessing the 14.5m boat, which has started to draw a crowd.

The crew was able to get off the boat safely before it was beached.

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They will have to wait until high tide this afternoon, when efforts will be made to pull the stricken vessel back out to sea.

Other boats had tried to hold it in place but could not stop it ending up a few hundred metres south of the Mudjimba boardwalk.

It's understood this afternoon's tide will be higher than this morning and provide the best chance to free the boat.



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