Uncertainty surrounds marooned boat retrieval

UPDATE 10.00AM: Retrieval crews are currently debating how to recover the marooned crabbing vessel currently embanked on the Mooloolaba foreshore.

Clayton's Towing and insurers are negotiating whether to crane the Matahari out intact, disassemble it, or to cut the boat into smaller pieces.

The marooned vessel is quickly turning into a logistical nightmare, with the boat's current location on the beach meaning a crane will need a longer than normal arm with special counterweights to retrieve the Matahari.

The boat has been written off after dashing against rocks for hours, so it is now up to insurers to decide the most economical way to pull it from the beach and navigate it through the streets of Mooloolaba.

Officials have advised that the retrieval of the 15 metre boat will take days.

Mooloolaba Esplanade has been reopened to the public.

4.30PM, 17/7: Workers were yesterday preparing to winch the Matahari further up Mooloolaba beach, ahead of efforts to recover the boat.

By the afternoon, hundreds of people had amassed as Claytons Towing began work retrieve the vessel, which ran aground late last night.

Heavy machinery was trucked to the beach, leaving the Esplanade closed in the south-eastbound lane.

Claytons Towing workers prepare to winch the Matahari up the beach.
Claytons Towing workers prepare to winch the Matahari up the beach. Francesca Mcmackin

A bobcat and digger were used to shift sand as workers prepared to haul the boat further up the beach, out of the reach of the tide.

Police officers kept onlookers well clear of the winch, with temporary fencing erected to keep the crowd at bay.

Tomorrow workers will attempt to crane the Matahari off the beach and onto a truck.

The Matahari fishing boat makes an unscheduled landing on Mooloolaba Beach.
The Matahari fishing boat makes an unscheduled landing on Mooloolaba Beach. Warren Lynam


UPDATE 10AM: Three people on board the boat that ran aground last night were forced to remain on board for more than three hours as the boat was dashed against rocks at Mooloolaba Beach. 

The Matahari smashed into the rocks just before 9.45pm last night, when the emergency called was made to the Water Police. 

As the vessel was unstable and continued to be knocked against the rocks, it was too dangerous for the three crew members on board to leave the boat until early this morning, when the tide dropped far enough for the Matahari to come to rest on the sand, where it now remains. 

The vessel ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach about 11pm last night.
The vessel ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach about 11pm last night. Eden Jannides


Water Police will continue to investigate, and could not comment on what caused the boat to run aground. 

The high tide early this afternoon offers the best chance to recover the boat. 


EARLIER: A skipper and his passenger have suffered an overnight ordeal as their boat was dashed against rocks at Mooloolaba, leaving the vessel beached.

Crowds have gathered this morning at Mooloolaba Beach as equipment and other gear was recovered from the Matahari, which is still ashore at the northern end of Mooloolaba Esplanade.

The boat ran aground late last night, and Eden Jannides came across the boat on the rocks about midnight.

The vessel ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach about 11pm last night.
The vessel ran aground at Mooloolaba Beach about 11pm last night. Miles Kesby


"We could see the passengers being knocked around up against the rocks for hours," he said.

He said the Coast Guard told him the boat was left on autopilot.

High tide at Mooloolaba today is at 1.23pm, bringing the best chance of recovering the boat.

Topics:  boat boating editors picks mooloolaba mooloolaba beach ocean

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