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Old 12-02-2008, 08:07   #1
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37 people rescued - Any Information?

I have just seen brief footage of a large sailing vessel (possibly a schooner?) on the beach/ rocks that the Australian coast guard spent 7 hours removing 37 people from via helicopter. This was shown to be on Hood or Hook Island or a similar name. It was a very brief news clip. Does anyone have any more information on this?


All safe after shipwreck drama | The Australian


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Old 12-02-2008, 10:44   #2
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The 87' Ketch, "Romance" at Hook Island.
Several more current news reports here:

37 winched to safety

Yacht rescue as wild storms lash Queensland coast | The Courier-Mail

Boats smashed in Airlie storms. 12 Feb 2008. ABC Tropical Queensland. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Old 12-02-2008, 15:08   #3
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This area shown on the pictures at Airlie Beach including the rock wall has not good holding--I have dragged an anchor there myself in only a moderate breeze. I ended up having to go elsewhere where I could pay out a much longer scope on a stickier bottom than sand or sandy mud. There were too many boats there to pay out more scope. The place gets very crowded at times.

Most of the boats on moorings are unattended, used on weekends only. Some of these boats may well have been at anchor and dragged their anchors into the mooring chains of others. Perhaps this mooring was then unable to secure two vessels in the strong winds and seas--vessels which probably slammed against each other doing further damage--and may have dragged into still more vessels as a result. These moorings have numbered red floats and I see one red float in the shallows.

Some of the vessels which held to their anchors and did not wash ashore appear to have been damaged by other boats drifting into them. The place is pretty crowded most of the time--and that rock wall would be fairly unforgiving to a glass or wooden hull driven ashore there. Those who realised what was about to happen could have moved further away and rigged for the storm--I am sure many folk did just that--but most of the boats damaged were probably unattended.

How a large tourist cruise yacht could be lost on Hook Island, or why it was not riding at anchor in a safe haven (there are two of them close by) with good holding mud, we will have to wait to find out. Maybe it was thought to be safely secured to a permanent mooring. There are some off Hook Island. Perhaps the tide was exceptionally low and they could not make the entrances to Nara or Macona inlets.

I have no idea what kind of watchkeeping allowed the vessel to snap a mooring cable early in the morning, yet it apparently did not occasion enough instant alarm to start the diesels immediately and make for open water. Again--we will have to wait for any report. Luckily no one was hurt.

I think those boats which dragged at Airlie Beach were damaged by other vessels dragging inadequate anchors--a sort of domino effect--because as they drifted they might well have picked up more anchor chains on the bottom. Many yachts have inadequate anchors, having two smaller or medium sized ones for the vessel either side of the bow rather than one large one on the bow. Small or medium sized anchors might be OK for calm waters and gentle currents--no good for a storm or really strong current, which can happen without a lot of warning. If a big anchor is dragging one can always deploy extra ones if necessary. Small or medium sized anchors drag a lot in those waters, where tides are fast and strong winds can come up quickly.

A very sad state of affairs. I wonder how many of them contemplating their damaged vessels are uninsured? Quite a few I should imagine. I feel so sorry for them in their loss.
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Old 12-02-2008, 19:12   #4
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Yes, it will interesting to hear what the charter vessel crew have to say. Passenger reports in the press indicate they were being tossed around a bit and no one could sleep.

My feeling is that Mondays weather report didn't indicate actual wind strength and direction that night, does anyone know what they were expecting?
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Old 12-02-2008, 19:21   #5
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I know someone who's boat was very badly damaged. It dragged it's mooring and ended up pounding against the marina wall. Might be written off.
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Old 12-02-2008, 19:48   #6
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Those are painfull pictures. I'm glad no one lost their life in the storm. I wonder how big the waves where as they don't look huge in the pictures.
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Old 12-02-2008, 20:20   #7
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for the weather see Queensland Weather and Warnings Information - Bureau of Meteorology There is still wind warnings up. The QLD and some of the NSW coast has copped it these last few months.
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Old 12-02-2008, 23:28   #8
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Have all the good cyclone holes gone?

When I used to visit the Whitsundays on a regular basis all the boat owners that I met had somewhere to go if there was a cyclone.
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Old 14-02-2008, 01:23   #9
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most of the problems came from breaking moorings or draging them. the bay here is very shallow. my mooring has only 8 feet of water on a very low tide. the waves were coming in at around 3 meters from a direction wich is exposed for the bay. My boat would have been ok but a catamaran dragged its mooring became intangled in my mooring after hitting my boat. it now rests upside down on the ocean floor. my hull got superficial dammage and ripped of my anchore winch broke a couple of stay wires, some staunchins and guide wires on the side. but at least it is floating and not leaking. chalk one up for a tuff solid glass mono. along the shore here is just carnage with wreckage everywhere.
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Old 14-02-2008, 01:33   #10
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there was some good luck stories as well. my friends boat broke its mooring, drifted down past the rock wall through the marina entrance missing everything and lay itself on a small sandy beach with rocks either side. It did not get a scratch on it.

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