Ballina jet boat saves the day for beached yacht at Byron
UPDATE 9am: BALLINA'S Jet Boat rescue service has saved the day - or night - of True Bluess, the single-masted yacht that washed up on Byron Bay's Main Beach yesterday.
The vessel's owners had been given 72 hours to get it off the beach and co-owner Matty Sandell said the plan had been to refloat it at high tide, due about 7pm last night.
However, that plan went down poorly with life savers, who warned it was "ill-considered" and "dangerous".
The plan was made moot in the end by the jet boat, which made the trip up from Ballina late yesterday afternoon and towed the yacht from the beach and back into deep water.
As of last night, at least, True Bluess was safely at anchor in the Bay.
UPDATE 2.45pm: POLICE and the Roads and Maritime Services Boating Safety Officers have given the owners of a 7.8 metre yacht, which washed ashore in front of the Byron Bay Surf Club on last night, 72 hours to remove the vessel.
According to an RMS spokesman the True Bluess had been anchored in the Bay for the past 2 weeks prior to it becoming stranded.
He said the RMS would be working RMS with relevant stakeholders to ensure the removal is carried out successfully.
Co-owner Matty Sandell said none of the four passengers was aboard the boat at the time of it grounding.
"I was in town buying supplies when someone told him what was happening," he said.
"I ran down to the beach and swam out to the boat but it was a losing battle, we just got everything off the boat we could."
Mr Sandell and his shipmates are from Western Australia and describe them selves as environmental activists.
They bought the boat in Brisbane eight weeks ago and spent the first week learning to sail.
They were due to leave the bay today headed for Papua New Guinea.
The group were planning to attempt to refloat their boat on the next high tide due at 7pm.
Scott McCartney Northern NSW Life Guard Coordinator said that the idea of refloating the boat at night was ill- considered and dangerous.
"They have not planned this well and there are plenty of things that could go wrong," he said.
"I would advise against anyone going into the water at that time of night."
10.30am: EARLY morning swimmers at Byron Bay's Main Beach were surprised this morning by the sight of a 6-8m single masted yacht, True Bluess washed up on the shore overnight in front of the surf club.
The boat appears to have dragged its anchor during the night and was stuck about 2m up the beach from the low tide line forcing the beach patrol to shift the flagged area down the beach.
Roads and Maritime Services and the Marines Park Authority workers were already on hand in the early stages of planning to refloat the yacht and waiting to make contact with the owners.
They said that re-floating would not be possible until tonight's high tide around 7pm and police were due to arrive to make a search of the boat in order to confirm the identity of the owners.
Locals have seen the boat in the bay regularly over the past and it is believed the owners are still in town.