RECOVERY operations at Inskip Point have ceased, four days after the near-shore landslide event sunk a four-wheel-drive, a caravan, a camper trailer and some tents.   

On Wednesday experts successfully removed parts of the caravan and miscellaneous floating debris.  

The caravan chassis, deeply embedded in the underwater sand bed, was not recoverable and there remains no sign of the four-wheel-drive.  

Yesterday a camper trailer was successfully recovered.   At around 10.30pm on Saturday, the 'sinkhole' caused chaos at the popular campsite.

Diving and recovery specialists have advised that they are unable to retrieve the remaining vehicles and efforts to do so will cease from today.

Contributed: QPWS

The site will be cleared, secured and barricaded.

QPWS will install safety warning signage at the site as a matter of priority to ensure the remaining debris poses minimal risk to the public.

Contributed: QPWS

For public safety, the MV Beagle campground and the eastern section of Sarawak campground, where the landslide occurred, remain closed and the public should avoid these areas.

Geotechnical reports say limited, minor coastal erosion may continue for some weeks and these areas will be closed until further notice.

MV Natone, SS Dorrigo and The Oaks campgrounds remain open, as does access to the barge via Inskip Point road.

Geotechnical reports also say that as tidal actions deposit sand back into the hole caused by the landslide, the area will progressively become more stable.

The size of the hole has not increased.

QPWS is looking into commissioning a study into the underlying causes of the instability affecting this section of coast, to provide guidance on how to manage this site into the future.

QPWS will also investigate whether any specific works will be required to return the campgrounds to their former state.

Divers devised a recovery plan for the vehicles.
Divers devised a recovery plan for the vehicles.

Inskip sinkhole recovery going slowly

INSKIP Point's slipping sands have been reluctant to release their grip on a caravan, still submerged in about 4m of water in the landslide "sinkhole" which opened suddenly on Saturday night.

A 60-tonne winch was still struggling at 2pm as it struggled to free the trailer, believed to be partly covered by sand at the bottom of the hole.

Gympie's Claytons towing operation was battling the unusual conditions at the sea bottom off Inskip's north facing beach yesterday, setting up a big block-and-tackle system to see if it can make progress as the crew waits on low tide.

Kev Phillips of Wolf Rock Dive at Rainbow Beach said he had been engaged to attach ropes to the submerged trailer chassis.

"They've got an excavator on hand with a winch cable attached to the trailer," one witness said a few minutes ago.

"The winch can pull 60 tonnes and it's maxed out," he said. "I think the trailer is largely buried in sand.

"Now, they've got a big rope, spliced loops in the end and they're hooking it up to a block-and-tackle system."

Gympie Times

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