Harsh lesson as Old Woman Island chews up stranded cruiser
A SALVAGE operation is being planned ahead of an expected major south-easterly change on Saturday for a 26-foot motor cruiser that washed on to Old Woman Island on Sunday night.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said the owner was responsible for salvage and was currently working on recovering the vessel.
A small amount of petrol remains on board the vessel, which is high aground on rocks on the eastern side of Old Woman Island, also known as Mudjimba Island, which forms part of the Maroochy River Regional Park and is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Coastguard Commander Ian Hunt said its Mooloolaba unit was called to attempt a rescue, which was abandoned when the vessel crashed ashore and filled with water.
It is understood that the owner, whose vessel was insured with Suncorp, had jumped overboard with a bag before being rescued by a friend on a jetski.
Mooloolaba Water Police Senior Constable Murray Lyons said the vessel had engine trouble.
"We've had bits of debris coming up on the beach since," Snr Const Lyons said.
"He had some sort of mechanical failure and as a result of that he couldn't manoeuvre and the seas just washed him on to the rocks on the eastern side of Mudjimba Island. It's very unfortunate."
The incident was a timely reminder for boaties to be extra careful around navigational hazards such as sand bars, rocks and reefs, he said.
"You should ensure that you leave enough distance between yourself and the hazard so that if you suffer mechanical failure you have time to deploy your anchor and stop your vessel being swept on to the rocks," he said.
"It is good to always have the anchor ready just in case."
He said an anchor should be dropped about 100m away from the hazard to avoid potential catastrophe.
"That's probably a lesson in this for the poor fella involved," Snr Const Lyons said.
"He would have been on the rocks before he knew what was going on."