Coast guard kept busy with rescues

WHILE Brisbane was being inundated by heavy rain and large tides on Monday, Tin Can Bay Coast Guard volunteers were kept busy tending to several vessels dragging their anchors during gale-force winds.

The first call received was to assist a 34-foot yacht, which had dragged its anchor in Snapper Creek after the turn of the tide. As the crew set off, further information was received about the yacht drifting up against another anchored boat.

A small rescue boat was launched, and despite rain squalls, strong winds and choppy conditions, the job was done without any damage to either boat.

The rescue crew had just returned to base when a call was received about a 40-foot yacht, which had dragged its anchor off Smooger Point in Tin Can Inlet. The boat was drifting quickly towards the Norman Point sandbank and with difficulty it was re-anchored by the coast guard.

As this was happening, calls for assistance came about two more yachts in trouble. The coast guard crew went to investigate and found a 44-foot motor-cruiser and a 32-foot sloop with their anchor lines entangled. The two vessels were laying side-by-side and the prospect of damage and further dragging was imminent.

Tin Can Bay Coast Guard’s larger rescue boat and more volunteer crews were needed for this rescue. In the meantime the smaller rescue vessel was called to attend one of the yachts that had been re-anchored earlier. It had dragged its anchor again, requiring relocation to a more secure position.

Information was then received about a 10 metre Wharram catamaran, which was reported to be dragging its anchor also. On investigation, the anchor appeared to have grabbed.

“Because of the rain, chop and strong wind gusts – one was well over 30 knots – we had some trouble,” skipper Ian Sutton said.

Skipper Jon Jones said the activations highlighted the need for boat owners, who leave their vessels unattended at anchor, to ensure their vessels’ ground tackle was up to the job of holding anchor in strong wind conditions.

Commander Jim George said his crews did a great job in difficult, squally conditions, which showed dedication and good training.

Gympie Times


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