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Yacht on the rocks

The yacht Stargull which ran aground on the rocks at Burnett Heads. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
The yacht Stargull which ran aground on the rocks at Burnett Heads. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

A LARGE yacht ran aground on rocks at Burnett Heads on Wednesday night while the skipper was apparently distracted by equipment failure.

And the stranded vessel was on Thursday presenting problems for salvage experts.

The yacht hit the rocks just before midnight on Wednesday night, according to Volunteer Marine Rescue spokesman Graham Kingston.

Dr Kingston said the yacht, from New Zealand, was heading for the Bundaberg Port marina when it developed equipment problems.

The solo yachtsman was down below dealing with the problem when the yacht left the channel and hit the rocks.

Dr Kingston said when the yacht ran aground the tide was fairly low, but the high tide of early yesterday morning would have pushed it further on to the rocks.

He said the coast had been subject to strong wind warnings over the past few days.

"It's just one of those things," he said.

"Keeping a proper lookout is one of the things we stress, but it's tough for solo sailors.

"With the bad weather he probably hasn't had much sleep over the past few days."

The skipper of the yacht apparently burnt his hands when he tried to set off an emergency flare.

He was resting in a Bundaberg motel on Thursday and was not available for comment.

But Dale Christensen, from Christensen Industries, was out Thursday morning examining the yacht's situation.

Mr Christensen said he had been asked to salvage the vessel.

He said the recovery operation was going to present some problems, since his boat drew 2.7m of water and he did not want to put it in jeopardy.

"I'll try to get a bulldozer down there and drag it off the rocks," he said.

"Because of the shape of it it will probably slide across the rocks."

Mr Christensen said the biggest problem was that when sailing yachts were built they did not include any anchor points where a towing cable could be attached.

He said it was lucky the hull of the boat was made of steel, since a fibreglass hull would have just shattered.

Topics:  burnett heads


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