Charter vessel beaches after outing
By ADRIAN MILLER
A YAMBA-based charter boat was beached on Iluka's Main Beach yesterday after becoming stranded late on Thursday night.
The Ocean Adventures charter boat, the 55-foot 'Tigerzeye', was marooned after coming into difficulty as it attempted to return to port after an ocean charter throughout the day on Thursday.
The vessel stranded just before 9pm after it was caught in rain, choppy seas and winds up to 15 knots.
It eventually settled on the sand 50 metres north of the breakwater.
Nine passengers were on board at the time, including two crew.
No one was injured.
Yesterday NSW Maritime was attempting to salvage the craft to undergo an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
NSW Maritime senior boating service officer John Rowe said it was too early to speculate on what had caused the boat to run aground.
"There's lots of theories on the beach, but I'm not sure of what happened until I talk to the master and the crew," he said.
"At the moment it's only speculation on my part and I can't engage in that until I've got the facts."
Mr Rowe said the salvage operation would be a long process, but he hoped to have the boat back in the water today.
"The situation is the salvage contractor has been engaged to salvage the vessel," he said.
"They are just at present hooking it up to drag the boat up the beach, and from my understanding, they have a crane coming down from Lismore to actually lift it off the beach and drop it in the river."
Mr Rowe said the investigation by NSW Maritime was standard procedure and there was no evidence the skipper of the boat was at fault.
"All boating accidents are investigated," he said.
Mr Rowe said it was unclear whether the boat had suffered any damage.
"Once it is on the slip one of our maritime surveyors will inspect the vessel and assess the damage and whether any repairs have to happen to the vessel."