NOW YOU SEE IT: Salvage crews work to bring the sunken ferry to the surface.
NOW YOU SEE IT: Salvage crews work to bring the sunken ferry to the surface.

Floaties enlisted to beat that sinking feeling

By SALLY GORDON

sally.gordon@dailyexaminer.com.au

DIVERS yesterday were attempting to attach flotation devices to a Clarence River ferry that mysteriously sunk at its Iluka Bay mooring last Sunday.

The rescue operation was expected to take two days to refloat the 60-foot decommissioned vessel, known as the Harwood Ferry.

A disappointed Lawry Duff, from Clarence River Ferries, said he had been in the process of rebuilding the 60-year-old boat with a view to recommissioning the vessel in the future.

Last year the Harwood Ferry spent six months on the slips while work was completed to its wooden hull.

Mr Ferry said yesterday he had just returned from Sydney with some air bags to help lift the submerged vessel.

He said he was at a loss to explain how the ferry sunk.

"I have no idea, I don't know whether it's foul play or what. It's hard to say," he said.

"It's been sitting there (Iluka Bay) for quite a long time and it's been on the slips for six months and had work done on it there.

"The boat's been as dry as a bone apart from rainwater, but we've had no rain."

Mr Duff said the boat would have to go back on the slips again so insurance assessors could investigate the cause.

"I just want to get it up and find out what's going on," he said.

Mr Duff added that a speed boat also had sunk and was found upturned in the Iluka Bay near the Iluka Hotel last Saturday.



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